Social media is an important tool for recruitment, but it’s often overlooked in the academic sector. There are a lot of benefits to sharing your PhD advert on social media, especially now that the oldest members of Generation Z are starting to apply to grad school.
Sharing your advert on social media increases your chances of reaching relevant candidates. Candidates don’t check your institution’s or lab’s careers page every day, but they do check social media every day. Candidates are more likely to see your PhD ad if you share it on channels that they actively check. Using social media also allows you to reach out to passive candidates who aren’t actively searching for a PhD position or checking job boards.
You’ll even reach future candidates by sharing your vacancy on social media. Future candidates are people who aren’t able to apply for a vacant position even if they’re interested in it. When it comes to PhD positions, bachelor’s and new master’s students are future candidates. They don’t yet have the necessary qualifications to apply for a PhD but still casually read PhD ads. Sharing your vacancy on social media can help keep you on their radar so they seek you out as a potential supervisor once they’re ready to apply for a PhD.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your recruitment on the three biggest social media platforms:
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Twitter is widely viewed as the most popular platform for academics to share and connect with each other. Utilize relevant hashtags like #academicjobs #researchjobs and #sciencejobs to increase your tweet’s reach. You can also use emojis in your tweet to stand out in the feed. Try to find one that is relevant to the PhD project or research field or use some more general ones like: ⭐️ 📅 📌 📍 📝 ✅ 📣 💻 . Adding a picture is another great way to catch people’s eye. You can use a recent picture of your research group or cool figure from a recent publication. If you’re feeling a bit creative, you could even create a simple infographic with key dates or project description. An infographic is also a great way to get around the 280 character limit and share more detailed information about your PhD opportunity.
Facebook isn’t as popular among Gen Z as it is among older generations and the platform makes it difficult to reach people who are outside of your personal network of friends. However, Facebook groups can be a great way to share your job ad with an interested audience. Private groups have had a resurgence in the last couple of years and membership is on the rise. Users also tend to engage more with content shared in groups than on their newsfeed. Some popular groups for PhD positions are PhD and postdoc positions (400,000+ members), International PhD, Postdoc and Faculty Positions (115,000+ members) and Master, PhD, and Postdoc Scholarships (95,000+ members). You can also search for groups that are country or field specific.
Though it’s not as popular with academics, LinkedIn is the most used platform when it comes to job advertising. Like Facebook, LinkedIn groups are a valuable place to share your job advert to reach relevant candidates. You can also reach people outside of your network by posting about your vacancy and setting the sharing settings to “anyone”. This will also share the post with people who follow you but aren’t connected to you. Finally, use hashtags like #phdjobs and #phdposition to help relevant candidates find your vacancy.
Now that you know the best ways to share your PhD ad on social media, download our free PhD advert toolkit to learn how to write a compelling advert and measure your results.