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Using LinkedIn effectively to support your graduate job search and applications

  • 26 November 2019
  • 3 min read

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and also functions as an online jobs board.

It’s an essential tool to use as part of your graduate job search, allowing you to build a professional brand online, to network and to have access to industry professionals.

Creating a strong graduate LinkedIn profile is essential. But having created and developed your ideal content you need to keep up your activity on the site to get results and leads.

To make sure you reap the benefits that LinkedIn has to offer, be proactive and engage with regular activity online.

Our top LinkedIn tips 

Use LinkedIn to kick-start your employer research

LinkedIn offers a great resource to research a wide range of organisations that you are interested in, with the opportunity to follow them. This will enable you to stay in the know about the latest news and job opportunities as they become available.

Be creative and have fun carrying out your research so that you can navigate how best to approach the company/organisation for a graduate opportunity when you are ready. See our guide on researching employers.

Let recruiters know that you’re open!

There's the option of privately letting recruiters know that you are open to new jobs using LinkedIn’s ‘open’ feature. This indicates to employers that you are proactively looking for opportunities and allows recruiters to make contact with you about specific roles where they feel you might be a good fit.

Just to reassure you, turning on your availability for a job doesn’t inform you current employer(s), so you don’t need to worry. It makes it easier to source and connect with employers by letting them know you’re open. You are also able to specify the type of company and the roles you are most interested in.

Searching and applying for jobs

The LinkedIn Jobs tab allows you to search and apply for specific jobs, in addition to setting up a dedicated ‘search alert’. Depending on the posting, you can ‘Easy Apply’ using the details included on your profile or you may be redirected to the company’s website to make an application.

Make the most of LinkedIn's premium free trial

Whilst this free trial is only available for 30 days, it offers a great opportunity to access additional benefits that can support you in your job search.

This includes information about who has viewed your profile, insights on where you stand in terms of applications to a particular job role and InMail features. Use these insights to make new connections, identify gaps in your profile and think about the skills you need to get the roles you want.

Making connections

LinkedIn offers a great opportunity to connect with a wide range of professionals. Whilst initially you may choose to connect with friends, peers and colleagues, you will want to broaden your horizons by reaching out to groups and individuals that interest you.

Getting involved in discussions, following pages of employers you would like to work for and formalising brief connections that you have made in real life, will allow you to strengthen your professional network. You can also use the ‘Grow your network’ feature under the ‘My Network’ tab to find people you may know.

Using Alumni to increase your connections

Another great opportunity to build your connections is to look out for our alumni. Doing a search for the University of Portsmouth is a great way to connect with alumni.

This offers the chance to reach out to them and share this common interest to increase your visibility, to network and potentially assist you in securing your first graduate role. Find out more about potential connections through the University of Portsmouth's Alumni Association group.

Be proactive and stay up to date!

Make sure you don’t sit back and relax and expect the job offers to come flooding in. It’s a competitive graduate labour market and a key way to make the most out of LinkedIn is to ensure you integrate it with other social platforms.

Check your feed regularly and like and share things that seem interesting. The busier you are on your profile and feed, the more visible you will be and the more connections you are likely to make.

Use LinkedIn to sell yourself and to share and strengthen your personal brand. If you’re not being approached by recruiters, you have the tool to create your own opportunities.

If you need more help and information, you can get support with using LinkedIn at the Careers and Employability Centre on Guildhall Walk. Our advisers are happy to review your profile and answer any questions you might have.

LinkedIn also provide a series of quick tip sheets and videos to help students and graduates create a profile and network effectively.

Contact the Careers and Employability Service

The Careers and Employability Service supports you throughout your studies and for up to five years after your graduation.  

Email: careers@port.ac.uk

Phone: +44 (0)2392 842684

Office hours: Monday – Thursday, 8.30am – 5.00pm; Friday, 8.30am – 4.00pm

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