Social Media for Professional Networking

Career Engagement

Use Social Media to Your Benefit

Employers often screen candidates using social media. Therefore, your online and social media presence can be an employer’s first impression of you. Maximize your professional online presence by regularly updating your accomplishments and making connections to help you achieve your career goals.

Have you Googled yourself lately? If you would not want a potential employer or your supervisor to see the results, remove the content and work towards building a more professional online presence.

Establish and take advantage of online communities to which you are already affiliated. This might include UT HookedInUT LinkedIn, the Facebook page of a nonprofit you support, or an industry association listserv. Once you are a member, you can comment on discussions, meet people who share common interests, and find exclusive job listings.

Keep all social media profiles (e.g., Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) and content updated often. Remove posts that no longer reflect you and your values/beliefs.

Choose a high-quality profile picture.

Share professional accomplishments.

Strengthen your privacy settings and do not relax them after you are hired.

Monitor tagged photos for inappropriate content even if you did not create the posts as they could reflect poorly on you.

Create a professional signature in your e-mail account.

Construct a professional voice mail greeting, especially if you are actively job searching.

Be mindful of behaviors that could be seen as negative or concerning for employers by avoiding

  • offensive language
  • inappropriate photos and videos
  • consistent negativity
  • discretionary remarks
  • combative posts and responses
  • breaching confidentiality – this is especially important for future educators
  • unprofessional e-mail addresses, e.g., longhornking@…, iluvpuppys@…, gr8pick@…, etc.

Remember that employers will likely be looking at all of the information you have online. What you e-mail, text, tweet, or post becomes part of your online persona. So, don’t allow your Twitter and Facebook persona to tarnish your image. And remember that today, a first impression is often made by your online persona.

If you need support crafting a professional online presence, contact your Career Engagement Coordinator.

Get HookedIn and join the professional networking platform for The University of Texas students and alumni.

Tips for the Professional

  • Join the College of Education group to stay in the loop on all jobs, events, and announcements. Dive deeper into your area of study or industry by visiting your relevant subgroup.
  • Search the directory and network with Longhorns who are willing to help you along your career path.
  • Be sure that your profile information is up to date and accurate. Add your work and volunteer experiences

Have a quick question or need advice on a particular topic? Use the Directory search filters to find the best person to help you.

  1. Use the ‘Ask or Advise a Longhorn’ filter in the right-hand navigation, select the ‘offering help’ drop down and filter by the predefined questions to find users that can offer quick advice. View their profile and click the ‘Request Help’.
  2. Use the right-hand filters to search by location, name, affinity groups, education or job/industry filters to narrow your results.
  3. Once you locate a user, view their profile and click the ‘Message’ button to send a brief message.

Want to find an informal mentor or focused career advice? Find the perfect match by using the ‘HookedIn Mentoring’ feature.

  1. Review your profile and navigate to the select the ‘Seek Mentor’ options. Select ‘participate in mentor program’. Save your profile.
  2. Click on the ‘HookedIn Mentoring’ link in the left-hand navigation to view suggested mentors.
  3. Narrow your search and find users who graduated from the College of Education, have the same affinity interest, or have relevant work or industry experience. You can also search by using the location filter to a specific geographic area.
  4. Once you find a potential match, click the ‘Connect’ button to review the user’s profile and determine if they are a good match. If so, click the ‘Request Mentoring’ button.
  5. Select one of the mentor options in the dropdown and send them a brief, professional message.

LinkedIn is a large professional network used by recruiters, hiring managers, and professionals. LinkedIn is a great source for networking and making contact with individuals who are in your field and industry of interest.

Useful Links

Find jobs and internships for students and recent grads using LinkedIn Students

  • This site gives students and recent grads access to thousands of job opportunities made especially for them.

Tips for the Professional

  • Your LinkedIn profile works as a résumé; it has sections where you can put your specific skills and experience. List your organizations in the ‘Organizations’ section, and enter your ‘Education’, ‘Awards’, ‘Certifications’, ‘Projects’, and more.
  • Use the “Company Search” option on LinkedIn to find companies that relate to your interest, and then narrow your search by industry, location, and more.
  • All LinkedIn “Groups” have a particular focus. Find a career-related one and check the “Group Statistics” to see how active the group is.
  • Some groups may have specific individuals that are connected to it. Such as teachers, athletes, or doctors. Sharing information with other group members in your field can be a great way to learn and network with other members.