How to Use the Internet to Find a Job

Did you know: “The vast majority of recruiters and employers are looking at LinkedIn as a possible way to find their next employee,” says Heidi Scott Giusto, PhD. In her talk, “How to Use the Internet to Get the Job You Want,” Heidi shares valuable pointers on using LinkedIn to build your online professional brand as a PhD seeking non-academic work.

Why You Should Be Engaging on LinkedIn

The numbers don’t lie: 92 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn. But 50% of LinkedIn users are “missing out” because they do not log in or engage on the platform regularly enough. Did you know that a majority of these absentee users are academics?

The number one problem is that academics don’t know how to approach LinkedIn as an industry-level platform. Most PhDs are accustomed to long writing samples, CVs, and publications as hiring documents whereas LinkedIn asks for shortened descriptions of your relevant skills. This can be difficult for PhDs who are trained to write longer documents. Heidi suggests starting at the beginning – consider what your professional purpose is. Then, build your profile around this idea.

Get Plugged In: Do’s and Don’ts

Developing your LinkedIn profile requires knowledge about what features are available for marketing your brand. Using professional photos, or even linking your business website to your LinkedIn are useful strategies that help you control your narrative. LinkedIn has a “write an article” feature that academics can also use to showcase their skills, knowledge of the field, and ability to communicate research topics to non-experts. Greeting profile visitors with this kind of useful information displays how valuable your skills and background can be to future employers.

There are also some pitfalls to avoid though. The most common mistakes people make online is uploading unprofessional or irresponsible content. “At the very minimum,” Heidi cautions, “understand that there are potential consequences if you write highly charged statements or if you get into screaming or yelling matches on social media platforms.” Employers hire and fire based off of what they see online, so knowing how to use social media as an opportunity rather than a liability is key.

Speak the Lingo

The key to successfully using LinkedIn is translating your academic experiences into career skills that make sense to employers. Heidi shares that translation makes up a large portion of her work as a resume writer. She “translates what people do in one field and helps put that into language that the other understands.” Learning the language of your desired career or field is also an essential part of professional development and marketing. Heidi points out that PhDs often run into a language barrier and that most transitioning academics are unfamiliar with a field’s specific jargon. “Sometimes though clients will say . . . I’m not sure what the language is, I don’t know the lingo.” Have no fear: PhDs are exceptional at researching. Why not utilize this skill to browse popular job search engines and learn?

Beyond the Professoriate Community Members attend events like this for free each month and access replays free for two weeks. Ready to launch your next great career? Join the Online Career Hub for PhDs.

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