Personal Branding & Social Media for Your PhD Job Search

Rather than considering social media a burden, or as one more thing on your plate, this post will help you think of social media as a tool to leverage during the search for your next great career.

Not only is the internet a great place to gather information about careers and employers, it’s also a network that allows you to connect and engage with people. Various social media platforms, especially LinkedIn and Twitter, are fabulous avenues for engaging and networking with potential employers. However, you’ll need to move beyond passively reading posts to actively engaging because networking is about helping, sharing, and connecting. It’s about building community in a professional context.

If you’re not on social media, you’re missing out on the opportunity to network and engage. What is great about LinkedIn and Twitter is the opportunity to tell YOUR story. You can set up these platforms to frame the conversation with potential employers from your perspective. Here, you can move away from the “I’m an academic” narrative and towards “I’m this person with these skills.” Social media provides a great starting point to tell potential employers about yourself, rather than leaving them to interpret your story.

What if you’re already on social media as an academic? It’s about making strategic choices: You’ll need to take your academic online persona and translate it into something that’s useful for your ongoing job search. It can become difficult if you’re trying to position your website as a hybrid to academic and non-academic employers. It’s more effective to maintain your academic website, and also focus on sites such as LinkedIn to showcase your non-academic persona. Non-academic employers heavily rely on LinkedIn! On your academic website, there’s no harm in showcasing what you do in addition to what you know. Put your skills and core competencies on there! Remember, it’s about making strategic choices: Build your personal profile by emphasising specific skills and fields that you want potential employers to notice.

Lastly, to start telling your story as a professional rather than an academic, consider writing a professional statement. This tells potential employers about who you are, what your skills are, what characteristics and value to bring to the job, and what makes you unique. When you write your professional statement, consider the following questions:

  1. What are your five key skills that employers will be interested in?
  2. What energizes you
  3. What are your values?
  4. What impact do you want your work to have on the world?
  5. Who benefits from your talents?
  6. What are your best attributes/personal characteristics?
  7. What makes you unique compared to others in your field

Rent and watch the full seminar to discover how to leverage social media and the internet to maintain a professional presence that will work for you during your job search.

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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