Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

Social Media for the Job Search

As social media increases its role in how people communicate and interact with each other, it is crucial to know how to optimize your use of the most effective tools. This instant access has changed the landscape of the job and internship hunt for everyone. Our guide aims to help you learn how to utilize LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for career exploration, the job and internship search and how you can use these tools to professionally market yourself online.

“Remember that social media is a publishing medium. When you use it, you are a publisher. You must think about the image you are portraying and how it will impact your life.” - Joshua Waldman, MBA –Author of The Social Media Job Search Workbook

LinkedIn Facebook Twitter
Instagram Digital Dirt Candidate Screening


LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking site comprised of 564+ million members across 200+ countries with students and recent college graduates being the fastest growing demographic. More than 20 million professionals (including recruiters, hiring managers and decision makers) use LinkedIn weekly. Considering that 70% of jobs are found through networking, taking a step and creating a LinkedIn profile is a vital part of your job and internship search. It is critical to take the time to build your LinkedIn profile, keep it up to date, add connections on a regular basis and effectively utilize all of the tools that LinkedIn has to offer to aid in your job and internship search. See below for more information on how to use LinkedIn in your job or internship search.

Career Research

Explore the University of Texas at Austin LinkedIn group and the College of Liberal Arts group to get career insights from 340,000+ Longhorn alumni. Learn where alumni are working geographically, what they do, who they work for, what they are skilled at and what they studied.

Job & Internship Search

  • Click on the jobs icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  • In the search box, type a job title, keyword or company name.
  • Your desired location may be pre-filled for you, but it can be updated by typing a different one into the textbox – a dropdown list will appear where you can select location.
  • If you’ve already used this function before, but your career interests have changed, simply click Update career interests to access the Job Preferences page. Here you can customize what you’re looking for including where you are in your search, your job search timeline, industry(ies) of interest and company size.
  • If you are actively job seeking, let recruiters know you’re open by turning the privacy setting to “on”. More information on this can be found here.
  • Now, with recent updates, those who are unfamiliar with the professional landscape can browse job titles within various job functions (e.g. education jobs, human resource jobs, marketing jobs, or entry level accounting jobs).
  • LinkedIn surfaces popular job titles and listings, as well as top cities and companies for a particular job, making it easier to explore opportunities in various fields.

Follow Your Target Companies

  • Keep informed of current events and updates and learn more information about the company at a glance. Whether you are in the beginning stages of your search or are conducting research for an interview, following companies is key in staying on top of your job search game.
  • See new hires, promotions, job postings, related companies and company statistics.
  • View current connections and alumni who work there currently or have worked there previously.

Join a Group on LinkedIn

  • There are 2+million groups on LinkedIn – there is something out there for practically every interest area!
  • Form new connections with like-minded people.
  • Post group discussions and gather information from professionals in the field.
  • Browse job postings and keep up to date on industry news.

How Do I Apply for a Job I Found on LinkedIn?

  • You have the following options when you are viewing a job posting:
    1. Apply for the job (apply directly through LinkedIn or on the company website)
    2. Save (and apply later)
    3. Share job
  • It’s up to you if you want to apply directly through LinkedIn for a position or apply on the company website. If you do choose to apply through LinkedIn, your profile will be forwarded when you apply – there is an option to add a cover letter.
  • Curious about what employers see when you apply? Check out this info graphic to learn all about it.

Find Connections and Use Them

  • Start with who you know – classmates, professors, supervisors, friends, colleagues, family, people you volunteer with, etc.
  • Branch out – Using the Search function, head to The University of Texas at Austin page and click on Career Insights. Here you will find alumni and see where they work, what they do, what they studied, where they live and what they are skilled at. Explore career paths of fellow Longhorns, get ideas, gather information and connect.
  • Don’t be afraid to connect with people you don’t know! The primary purpose of LinkedIn is to connect with people. See our templates for more information on how to reach out.

Search the Student Jobs Portal

  • Download the LinkedIn Students Application in the Google play or App Store.
  • Receive daily personalized tips based on the career paths of LinkedIn’s more than 467 million users!
  • Explore career paths of UT alumni who graduated from the same college and with the same major as you.
  • Find jobs and internships that fit your interests.
  • Discover companies you may have not considered before.

Complete and Update Your Profile

  • We typically recommend having your resume looked over by a career coach – then including your resume information within your LinkedIn profile.
  • Since this is your virtual resume, you aren’t limited to just 1 page! Your LinkedIn profile allows you to break out of the confines of a resume and add a professional summary, showcase your work (presentations, websites, thesis abstract, etc.) and much, much more.
  • Update your profile frequently to ensure the most up to date information is available to employers seeking candidates! You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity because your profile was not updated recently.

Find Your Earning Potential with LinkedIn Salary

  • LinkedIn Salary acts as a free resource for users to obtain job salary insights and understand the various factors that impact pay for roles so they can make more informed career decisions.
  • The tool shares salary insights for specific job titles, and the different factors that impact pay scale: location, years of experience, industry, company size, and education level.
  • LinkedIn also uses this data to provide personalized features and recommendations.
  • After you enter salary details, you’ll be able to view what members earn on average for a specific role and city, broken down by: base salary, total compensation and additional compensation such as annual bonus or sign on bonus.
  • To build this data, we're requesting that users first submit their salary information. When submitting one’s salary, they can also add additional compensation details such as a sign-on bonus or company shares provided.

Craft a Strong Headline and Get a Professional Photo

  • Change your headline from “Student at The University of Texas at Austin” to something more specific and memorable. There are a lot of students at UT – you want to stand out from the crowd!
  • LinkedIn users only see your headline and photo when browsing profiles, this is your first impression, make it a strong one.
  • For more ideas on how to create a strong headline, browse other people in industries of interest as yours or schedule an appointment with a career coach to brainstorm content.
  • For a FREE professional photo, come by our office dressed in your professional attire. No appointment needed. Just bring yourself and get ready to smile! (check our website for the most up to date information on our hours).

More on LinkedIn

Explore our LinkedIn for Networking page to learn how to develop your professional network and grow your contacts.


Most of us know Facebook as our go-to for friend updates, posting pictures and joining an endless number of groups. Although it’s primarily used for social networking, Facebook boasts more than two billion users and can also be used for professional networking.

Unlike LinkedIn, Facebook does not prompt you to fill out past professional experiences (internships, part-time jobs and volunteerism are included in this!) and a profile summary. In order to maintain a consistent message across all social media sites, be sure to fill out the work experience, your education, and your profile summary. Having a complete and professional Facebook profile that matches up with your resume and LinkedIn makes your online presence stronger and gives you a competitive edge against other candidates.

Next Steps

  • “Like” the LACS Facebook page to keep up to date with events happening in our office and to get the latest career news.
  • Locate and “like” organizations and companies that are of interest to you.
  • Network with professionals and join discussions on company Facebook pages.
  • Clean up your profile - consider what an employer might be able to see in your pics and your friends' pics of you. If your Facebook profile is too unprofessional, it could hurt you in the job search.
  • Check your privacy settings regularly!

 Useful Links


Twitter is another popular social networking site that often times gets overlooked as a professional networking site. This platform boasts 328+ million users and has a unique advantage over other social media sites as it allows you to discover (in real-time) about developments in your areas of interest as well as be a part of a global conversation that extends past people you know.

When using Twitter as a job search tool, it’s more important to build lists of influencers by industry and topic than getting more followers. Who you follow is more important! By following key influencers, you are able to get a peek into what they are thinking about and get ideas on how to reach out to them. Participate actively in discussions and be sure to follow good grammar, spelling and punctuation rules! Who knows, some of your Twitter conversations could turn into face-to-face meetings.

Next Steps

  • Follow Liberal Arts Career Services (@UTLACS) to keep up to date with events happening in our office and to get the latest job postings from BTT Gateway.
  • Locate and follow organizations and people you are interested in. If you aren’t sure who the top influencers are in your interest area, try utilizing one of these resources.
  • Have conversations with organizations and people in your area of interest. Be sure to understand the difference between your retweets, replies and your DMs. New to the Twitter-verse? Check out this Twitter Dictionary!
  • Don’t skip writing a bio or avoid a professional headshot! Click here for ideas.
  • Clean up your profile and consider how the content you share, interact with and follow might be perceived by an employer.


Instagram is the hot spot for photos, videos and captions. With 800+ million users, it has become an integral part of the business world. Companies are increasingly turning to Instagram to promote their cultures and their open jobs. If you currently use Instagram, start following and interacting with relevant companies and individuals to get an idea of what a company’s culture is and gain more knowledge about your target company’s mission, values and key influencers. 

Next Steps:

  • Create an Instagram account here.
  • Make a list of companies to which you’re applying (or would be interested in applying) and start following them. Pay attention to trends and themes – this can be helpful when determining if you would be a good fit, when writing a cover letter and/or answering the question “Why do you want to work at this company?”. Say goodbye to generic answers! 
  • Add a professional photo and short bio.
  • Take a look at these tips and tricks.
  • Be mindful of what you post and update privacy settings regularly!

Your Digital Dirt

Presenting yourself in a positive, professional light across all of your social networks is imperative in today’s job market. Below are some tools to get you started. For more assistance with promoting your online presence, set up an appointment with a career coach.

  1. Conduct an online audit: Search Google, Bing and Yahoo
  2. Create a Google alert of yourself to get notifications of any mentions of you
  3. Pay attention to web content and images across your social media platforms
  4. Delete any inactive profiles
  5. Start creating new content that showcases your professional interests

Candidate Screening

Did you know that the number of employers using social media to screen candidates has increased 500% over the last decade? According to Career Builder’s annual Social Media Survey (2017), 70% of employers are searching for you - the job candidate - on social media and online search engines. Here’s what they are searching for.
Employers are looking for these 7 things:
  1. Information that supports the candidate’s qualifications for the job
  2. A professional online presence
  3. What other people are posting about the candidate
  4. Information that speaks to candidate’s personality and fit for company culture
  5. Great communication skills
  6. Well-rounded, showing a wide range of interests
  7. A reason not to hire the candidate
More than half of employers have found content on social media that caused them not to hire a candidate. Here are 7 Social Media No-Nos:
  1. Provocative or inappropriate photographs, video or information
  2. Information about drinking (especially if you are under 21) or using drugs
  3. Discriminatory comments related to race, gender or religion
  4. Bad mouthing previous company or fellow employee
  5. Lying about qualifications
  6. Sharing confidential information from previous employers
  7. Lying about an absence (i.e., from work)

Think the answer is to delete all social media accounts? Think again. Avoiding a professional online presence altogether can hurt your job prospects: More than 57% of employers say that are LESS likely to call someone in for an interview if they can’t find the job candidate online. So instead of deleting accounts and avoiding them altogether, clean up your profiles and build up your online presence – check out the information above or schedule an appointment with a career coach to help you get started.

More and more companies are instituting or revising their social media policies – if you don’t work for yourself, be aware of company policies about the use of social media. For more information, check out the Social Media Policy Database.

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    University of Texas at Austin
    FAC 2.106 (2nd Floor)
    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508