Social Media as a Research Tool

 November 13, 2014


Many of us use social media as a way to avoid our research. Nothing is so compelling as that Facebook post or tweet at the moment that a research deadline approaches. But social media sites can also serve as research tools, especially when it comes to careers.

If you’ve been thinking about LinkedIn as just “professional Facebook,” you’re not leveraging the power of LinkedIn as a career research tool. LinkedIn provides a powerful way to find out how to reach your career goals by mining the profiles of professionals in your target career field. By reading about their skills and experiences, you can see how they built their professional portfolios.

You can get started today, anytime, in harnessing the power of LinkedIn through the brand-new online Introduction to LinkedIn for Grad Students workshop, hosted in Sakai. The workshop was developed specifically for Duke graduate students by staff in The Graduate School and Duke Career Center and is available 24/7. To get started, follow the instructions below:

  1. Log in to Sakai ( with your NetID and password.
  2. Click the “Membership” link in My Workspace, then the “Joinable Sites” button.
  3. Search for “LinkedIn” to find the LinkedIn for Grad Student site.
  4. Click the “Join” link below the site title.

Whether it’s 9 a.m., 7:30 p.m., or 2 a.m., now is an excellent time to delve into your research.



Melissa Bostrom, Ph.D.
Melissa Bostrom, Ph.D.

Assistant Dean, Graduate Student Professional Development

Melissa ensures that all Graduate School students can identify and develop transferable skills to prepare them for the full range of career opportunities open to master's- and Ph.D.-prepared professionals. She is Managing Editor of the blog.