Careers Service



How to use LinkedIn for your Career

There are many benefits to using LinkedIn. You can use it to: 

  • stay informed about your contacts and industry
  • find the people and knowledge you need to achieve your career goals
  • create and control your professional identity online
  • find jobs - some employers, for example L’Oreal, now use LinkedIn as a direct recruitment portal 
  • be found by potential employers. Being active on LinkedIn increases your Google rankings

You need to keep your profile up to date and be proactive on LinkedIn if you want it to benefit your career. Here are some of our suggestions for using LinkedIn proactively. 

Make connections

  • begin by connecting to existing contacts such as friends, family, classmates, academics, colleagues and employers from part-time jobs and internships, volunteering and extra-curricular activities
  • read our step-by-step guide, with example questions to get you started and connect with Newcastle alumni on LinkedIn
  • try not to be intimidated by people in senior roles. Connect with people whose careers you admire, by using the advanced people search
  • use a keyword search relevant to your career interests, eg ‘video games’, to show related profiles
  • make sure you personalise any request to connect (see below)

Add a personal note

Generic invitations are often ignored. To connect with someone make it personal. You should:

  • tailor your message in the ‘personal note’ box when you click to connect with someone
  • look at their LinkedIn profile – do you have any similar interests, anyone in common?
  • be clear why you want to connect. Your reason should not be to request a job or work experience

Request introductions

These help you to expand your network. You can ask an existing connection to introduce you to someone who is a second or third level connection, but not yet known to you.

Follow company’s pages

Company profiles often have details of the organisation's products and services. They also often include where people have worked before. Use company search to find these.

Send messages

If you’re a member of the same group as someone, you can send them a direct message.

Show your interest

  • comment on industry-specific articles and ask questions in LinkedIn groups. This shows you're engaged and proactive. Avoid controversy unless you want to create a particular professional persona. Asking a well-considered question demonstrates you are business and industry aware
  • be conscious of what you ask in groups. Do your research (at the least a Google search) before you ask a question and don’t ask anything that has an obvious answer.

Research organisations, roles, staff and jobs

Find staff who work for the company you are researching:

  • search by ‘relationship’ to see your first, second and third degree contacts. Ask any contacts for information that could help you in the application process
  • investigate career paths - look at individual profiles to identify the key skills, knowledge and experience current employees at a particular company have. You can also search by degree subject, particular skills you want to use in a job and get inspiration from what alumni are doing by using the LinkedIn Find Alumni tool
  • Before an interview - it's a good idea to check your interviewer’s LinkedIn profile. This will help you find out more about them and see if there is anything you have in common

Find jobs

You can also use LinkedIn to find advertised jobs

More information 

Newcastle University Careers Service LinkedIn YouTube Tutorials

Advice from LinkedIn

Further advice on using LinkedIn

More help 

  • attend our careers workshops on using social media. For dates and times, see Events
  • you can also get feedback on your LinkedIn profile in the Careers Service. For advice on how to create a profile, see LinkedIn profiles

If you need more help using LinkedIn for your career, come and talk to us. No appointment is necessary.