As a budding PhD student, you’ll be starting to develop into an effective and specialist researcher. You will be maturing skills and expertise that only a small number of people in the world have: you may even be unique in what you can offer! In your career, you’ll effectively be offering your specialised services, and like any other service-based business, you need to advertise these skills to potential employers. Even before you start your programme, you can use social media to assemble a portfolio of your skills, experience, work and publications.
The best platform for creating this online CV is LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is great for uploading a variety of assets, but it’s most effective for work experience, skills and accomplishments. It’s used by lots of different types of people, not just researchers – it’s a bit like professional Facebook. Be selective in what you include though; use only the best to represent yourself.
An important part of postgraduate life is developing your own professional network, and that’s something that LinkedIn is tailored for. You can gather connections and follow the pages of institutions and businesses that interest you. This works well in conjunction with the job search aspects of LinkedIn. You can see what job offers are out there, and if you have any connections associated with those employers.
This isn’t a social media platform that needs constant tending to. So long as you keep your profile up-to-date, it can be a valuable tool for developing your online presence and your network throughout your degree. Just make sure that all the information matches up to any CV or job application you use.