LinkedIn & social media

If your CV is a store showcasing your offer, your Cover Letter the store window containing key information to entice and encourage the passer-by to call in, then social media provides a network of store fronts to build and sell your personal brand!

With so many different platforms available you’ll be sure to find the right online space to highlight key skills, knowledge, experience and achievements.  Popular platforms include: 

  • LinkedIn 
  • Twitter
  • Instagram 
  • Facebook 

Other websites/platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, Behance, Tumblr etc. can also be used to display qualifications, skills, experience or work (portfolio), building a strong online presence, and increasing your chance of being found.  Including profile links in CVs and applications can help expand your offer and reinforce achievements.

Don’t forget that the majority of employers check social media as part of the recruitment process, so it’s important to ensure you’re aware exactly what employers can see, so that it creates a positive first impression. 

Top tips

  • Ensure your email address/profile name/link are professional 
  • Think about what you want to communicate and add it to your profile – awards, standout experiences, your passions, key skills or best pieces of work. 
  • Check your privacy settings – be sure that you can be found, that you know who can see your content, and what they can see.
  • Get connected - connect with employers, organisations and people you’d like to work for or with. 
  • Engage - Like, comment and share information. Post your own content showcasing knowledge, experience and skills relevant to the sector you want to join. 


With 562 million users in more than 200 countries - this professional social network is the place to find jobs and be found. 

Key features include: 

  • Enhanced rich media online profile (CV) 
  • Job search and opportunity awareness 
  • Build and engage with your professional network 

With many employers looking to LinkedIn to find employees or checking profiles as part of the recruitment process, if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile – get one! 

Get a custom URL - Ensure your profile link is easy to find and represents you

e.g. “” rather than “”

Let employers know you are open to opportunities - turn career interests ON

Be specific - Set up job search alerts, specify the job roles and sector you are interested in and LinkedIn will  present you with relevant jobs on a regular basis.

A professional photo gets more profile views. Use a good quality (well lit, not blurry) forward facing smiling, head and shoulders shot, with a plain background for best results. 

Background photos can demonstrate something about you, your job, organisation or key skills and achievements. 

Let people know – what you do/study, your passion, showcase relevant awards, qualifications, key skills or experiences and careers/roles of interest.  e.g.

HR Professional (CIPD) | Passionate about Learning & Development | Seeking Organisational Development specialist role |

USW Law student (LLB/LPC)| Law Society President 2018 | Eversheds Sutherland work experience | Interested in Family Law|

Tell your story, outlining your most relevant skills, experiences and achievements: 

  • Use industry and job description keywords
  • Tell your story – add some personality (entertaining but professional)
  • Add your contact details 
  • Link to rich media showcasing – portfolios, websites, blogs, videos, projects and your CV. 

Include module titles, projects, assignments, final major projects or dissertations (and marks) as well as the skills used, knowledge and experience gained. 

Additional sections – can be used to highlight training, courses, awards, certifications, project work, publications etc. 

Include all experience in this section. Outline the roles, use bullet points to explain the key duties and responsibilities, including the skills used. Use action verbs e.g.

Completed all project work within budget and timescale’

Delivered a summary report on the key implications of the new legislation’ 

Skills - Add your skills, focusing first on the skills needed for the jobs/industry that interests you.  Use the autosuggest skills, as these are based on the skills most commonly searched for by recruiters. 

Endorsements - Ask your connections to endorse you for skills they have seen you evidence and endorse others too – they will often return the favour!

Recommendations - Been given some fantastic feedback? Ask them to pop it on your LinkedIn profile as a recommendation, so it is there for all to see. 

Follow people - influencers, relevant employers, organisations and professional people working in the industry you want to work to get job insights, find out about opportunities and what people in your Industry are talking about. 

Reach out to people - connect, join groups and grow your network. Connect with Alumni, fellow students, academics, employers and professionals you meet as well as friends and family. 

Be professional - send a personalised message when connecting to provide some context to your request. e.g. 

“Hi Simon, thank you for the guest lecture you delivered for our advertising course last night. I found the ideas you shared really interesting and enjoyed chatting to you about them afterwards. I wondered if we could connect?”

“I see you graduated from USW. I’m studying Engineering and exploring potential work opportunities. I wondered if you would mind becoming a part of my professional network?"

Engage your network – like/comment/share/publish (via LinkedIn Pulse) information that demonstrates your passion, skills, experiences, knowledge and expertise. 

Perhaps you’ve read an interesting article, or found a great website resource to share that would be of interest to your network. 

You might want to tell people about something exciting that you have done, or are going to do, or maybe reach out to ask for feedback or advice. 

Use hashtags - to search for content and to help others find your posts. 


Social Networks for Creatives - 10 Social networks you need to join if you're a creative Freelancer 

Creative Social Media Guidance - Build your brand and make social media work for you

Unilife Social Media Guidance - looks at social media from a legal perspective and offers advice on bullying, your career and more.