http://uk.linkedin.

com/in/eddequincey Page 1 2014


Introduction to LinkedIn
You might be active on other social network websites such as facebook, Google+ and twitter but
quite often people ignore one of the most powerful professional networks out there: LinkedIn
(Johnston, 2011).

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional online network with more than 300 million members
in over 200 countries and territories (LinkedIn, 2014). It started out in the living room of co-
founder Reid Hoffman in 2002 and officially launched the following year. As of June, 2014 people
are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of approximately two new members per second, with the
majority (67%) located outside of the United States and over 15 million users in the UK alone
(LinkedIn, 2014).

Perhaps one of the main reasons that students in particular ignore LinkedIn is its reputation as a site
to only sign up for if you are looking for a job, like monster.co.uk or jobsite.co.uk. However,
LinkedIn is far more than a place for employers to post jobs and for job seekers to submit
applications. This guide aims to highlight the benefits of having an up to date LinkedIn profile
whilst you are a student by taking you through the following steps:

1. Why sign up for LinkedIn in the first place?
2. Creating an account and start to populate it with content
3. What should you put on your profile?
4. How should you use it?
1. Why Sign Up?
If you are joining LinkedIn to communicate with classmates
and friends, you are in the wrong place as you will find very
few of them on LinkedIn in comparison to other social
networks like Facebook (Schaffer, 2009). However, thousands
of creative directors, marketing VPs, IT directors, recruiters,
and other potential employers and clients are accessible through
LinkedIn (Johnson, 2011). As of June 30, 2012, LinkedIn
counts executives from all 2011 Fortune 500 companies as
members; its corporate hiring solutions are used by 85 of the
Fortune 100 companies. More than 2 million companies have
LinkedIn Company Pages (LinkedIn, 2012) and it has been
reported that 85% of recruiters go to LinkedIn before anywhere
else to find talent (DeMatteo, 2011). If you have a complete
profile that highlights your technical or creative skills, some of
them may come to you (Johnson, 2011).

You might not be looking for a job at the moment but it’s never too early to start thinking about
what you can be doing to differentiate yourself from the other 66% of students that get a 1st or 2:1
Alessandro Santese
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/alessandro-santese/36/49/307
Front End Web Developer at Outside Line and BSc
Web Technologies at University of Greenwich

Using LinkedIn to connect with agent
recruiters obviously sends them a message,
why has this guy contacted me? They then
think “let's give him/her a shout and see
what his/her current situation is...” and here
everything starts. I have been contacted via
e-mail, text-messages, direct calls, LinkedIn
private messages. It helped me to get 2 jobs
plus I am still extending my network of front-
end developers like me.
I am still being contacted from agents asking
if I am looking for jobs even though my
profile clearly states that I started a new job 2
months ago. The market is crazy. I still
receive 3-4 emails a day about job offers with
very competitive salaries.




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(Morgan, 2012). You could quite easily ignore LinkedIn and start a profile when you graduate but
taking time to plan, get advice and develop your profile incrementally will not only increase your
chances of finding employment in your chosen field, but also securing that job more quickly, before
your fellow graduates. There are already over 39 million students and recent University graduates
on LinkedIn, the fastest growing demographic (LinkedIn, 2014).
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One of the most daunting aspects of finding a job is the notion of networking. About three out of
four businesses use networking at some point in the hiring process (Jandreau, 2012) and getting
connected now, whilst you are still studying can really benefit you after graduation. You should
look at using LinkedIn whilst at University as an opportunity to build up the required networking
skills whilst in a supportive environment. Expanding your connections at any point in your career is
also a great way of learning from others who are working in your chosen industry.
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I suspect that you will have at some point Googled your own name. You are not alone, as a rising
number of employers are using Google to assess potential employees, including running
background checks on your social media presence "to reveal personal information and lifestyle on
the web” (Garun, 2012; Wortham, 2009; de la Llama et al., 2012). Whatever, the ethical or moral
issues are with this practice, an employer has easy access to online information about you and you
need to make sure that whatever is publically available is something that will portray you
positively. One excellent way of doing this is having your own professional website and domain
name, particularly if you are studying a digital/web media related subject, but also having a
publically available LinkedIn profile can have similar benefits and will rank highly in a Google
search of your name.
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LinkedIn has a specific part of the site that advertises jobs suitable for students and graduates:

http://www.linkedin.com/studentjobs

This has the advantage over sites such as monster.co.uk as you can guarantee that employers will be
looking for students and recent graduates, not people with years of industry experience.
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Whereas other social networks get overrun with personal status updates, LinkedIn focuses on
professional interests (Johnston, 2011). LinkedIn has groups where you can find and share industry-
specific tips and news, get advice from people within the industry and follow companies that you
might be interested in working for.
2. Creating an account
Creating an account on LinkedIn is simple and there is a specific guide for students on the LinkedIn
site, which we suggest you look at:

http://students.linkedin.com/

To sign up, go to:

http://www.linkedin.com/

and fill in the form with your name and a professional email
address i.e. not bigboy75@hotmail.com.

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You will then be taken through a number of stages where you
will populate your professional profile. You can of course edit
any of this information once the profile is finished but take
time to make sure that the information is correct and complete.

The advice from LinkedIn is to think of your profile as “an
interactive business card” (LinkedIn, 2012). It’s a “summary
of your professional experience, interests, and capabilities that
is designed to attract the attention of important people who are
searching for you online” (LinkedIn, 2012). Remember to
validate your account via the automated email that LinkedIn
will send.
3. What should you put on your profile?
“Users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn”
(LinkedIn, 2012).

LinkedIn have created a student guide that we suggest you read to make sure that you are getting
the most out of your profile:

How to Build a Professional Student LinkedIn Profile
http://university.linkedin.com/content/dam/university/global/en_US/site/pdf/TipSheet_BuildingaGreatProfile.pdf

and there is some very useful information at the following site:

A Student’s Guide to LinkedIn
http://guidetolinkedin.moonfruit.com/

The main points to concentrate on however are the following:

1. Craft an informative profile headline
When a potential employer/recruiter performs a search on LinkedIn they see a list of
names, including current/past employment and education, and a summary of your
profile.

As a student you could include your degree subject and where you are employed. If you
are working in a job that has nothing to do with your career you can add a place where
you volunteer instead, or your position in a club or society (Jandreau, 2012). Remember
that using key words in your profile will help future employers find you and gives the
recruiter a reason to click and read further (DeMatteo, 2011).
2. Profile picture
Beings as LinkedIn is a professional networking website, you need to have a
professional looking profile picture. The image included in the search results is quite
small so use a single headshot of yourself and avoid group shots or avatars.
3. Summary statement
This is a chance to advertise yourself. Write a summary explaining what you are doing,
Dr Marcel Winandy
https://www.linkedin.com/pub/marcel-winandy/23/4b4/469/en
Computer Security Researcher at Ruhr-University
Bochum
Protecting your LinkedIn Account
1. Choose a secure password (and not the
same one that you use elsewhere) as your
online profile has value.
2. LinkedIn may suggest that you upload
contacts from your address book or from
other accounts such as Facebook and
Google. Be aware though that this may be a
privacy risk as you may have contacts that
you don't want LinkedIn to know. Once you
choose that option, all of your contacts are
available to LinkedIn.
3. Always make sure that the LinkedIn web
address starts with https:// as this is more
secure.



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your experience and skills. Think of it as the best parts of a covering letter. It is also
important to make this as readable/scannable as possible so use short blocks of text and
consider using bullet points.

The most important thing is that the information is complete and as accurate as possible. A half
finished profile is worse than not having one at all so take time to add content to each section and
think about including links to things like your personal website, twitter profile, uploading a full CV
and you can even use LinkedIn as a professional portfolio via uploading files and links to your
profile’s “Professional Gallery”.
4. How should you use it?
Once you have created your profile, there is the temptation to sit back and wait for the job offers to
flood in. However, the chances of this happening without growing your network on LinkedIn and
utilising the site’s features are small. Again LinkedIn have written various short guides on how to
use the site:

Using LinkedIn to Find a Job or Internship
http://university.linkedin.com/content/dam/university/global/en_US/site/pdf/TipSheet_FindingaJoborInternship.pdf
Networking on LinkedIn
http://university.linkedin.com/content/dam/university/global/en_US/site/pdf/TipSheet_NetworkingonLinkedIn.pdf
How to Communicate Effectively on LinkedIn
http://university.linkedin.com/content/dam/university/global/en_US/site/pdf/TipSheet_CommunicatingonLinkedIn.pdf
Using the Alumni Tool to Explore Career Paths
http://university.linkedin.com/content/dam/university/global/en_US/site/pdf/alumni-tool-final.pdf
The following are areas that you might want to think about first.
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“People with more than 20 connections are 34 times more likely to be approached with a job
opportunity than people with fewer than five.” (Jandreau, 2012)

The simplest thing to begin with is to use the automated tools on LinkedIn to find contacts in your
online address book, Facebook etc. that you can connect with, termed “first degree” connections.
For those people that you know well, on a personal basis you can probably just use the basic
message “I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” that LinkedIn provides when
sending a connection request. However, you will get a better response rate if you write a brief,
personalised, polite note to each potential connection reminding them how you met (if necessary)
and explaining why you’re interested in connecting (LinkedIn, 2012). We also suggest that you
connect with lecturers and tutors at the University that have taught you so you can keep in touch
once you have graduated, have access to their networks and also ask for recommendations and
introductions.
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“Having a LinkedIn recommendation will further differentiate you from the rest of the crowd who
don’t have recommendations” (Schaffer, 2009).

Recommendations on LinkedIn are similar to references that you would have at the end of a CV.
The main difference is that recommendations are publically visible.


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Similarly, LinkedIn allows users to add Skills to their profiles and for their connections to then
endorse those Skills (and also suggest more).



Ask for recommendations and endorsements from people that have taught you, people you have
worked with and for. Just as for a reference though, do not ask for recommendations from people
who might not have anything positive to say about you.
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“Groups are a fantastic way to make KEY connections with influential people” (DeMatteo, 2011)

LinkedIn contains groups related to any professional field of interest that you might have.

http://learn.linkedin.com/groups/

Finding and joining groups is simply a case of performing a search for relevant areas that you are
interested in e.g. programming, web development, HTML5 etc. Groups offer an excellent
opportunity for finding relevant news articles, blog posts, joining in with related discussions, and
also finding jobs related to the group. You might want to start by finding and joining the University
of Greenwich Alumni group.
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A large number of companies now have profiles on LinkedIn and you can follow them to discover a
host of useful information. Companies will post information about jobs available and you can see
any company employees that are in your network.




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References and Further Reading
DeMatteo, R. (2011) The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Linkedin. [online] Available at:
<http://www.youtern.com/thesavvyintern/index.php/2011/04/13/the-ultimate-beginners-guide-to-
linkedin/> [Accessed 18 September 2012].

de la Llama, V.A., Trueba, I., Voges, C., Barreto, C. and Park, D.J. (2012) At Face(book) value:
uses of Facebook in hiring processes and the role of identity in social networks. Int. J. Work
Innovation, 2012, 1, 114-136

Garun, N. (2012) Employers are beginning to ask job applicants for their Facebook logins. [online]
Available at: <http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/employers-are-beginning-to-ask-
applicants-for-their-facebook-logins/#ixzz24rCHT9Pf > [Accessed 18 September 2012].

Jandreau, K.L (2012) Why aren’t more college students using LinkedIn? [online] Available at:
<http://guidetolinkedin.moonfruit.com/ > [Accessed 18 September 2012].

Johnston, S. (2011) 5 Reasons for Freelancers to Use LinkedIn. [online] Available at:
<http://freelanceswitch.com/freelancing-essentials/linkedin-networking/ > [Accessed 18 September
2012].

Kelsheimer, M. (2012) Hiring. [online] Available at:
<http://www.texasemployerhandbook.com/2012/05/hiring/ > [Accessed 18 September 2012].

LinkedIn (2014) About Us. [online] Available at: <http://press.linkedin.com/about > [Accessed 24
June 2014].

LinkedIn (2012) How to Build a Professional Student LinkedIn Profile. [online] Available at:
<http://careerservices.linkedin.com/Build-A-Professional-Profile.pdf > [Accessed 18 September
2012].

Marcus, D. and Kitchen, P. (2010) Employers scour Web for details on applicant. [online]
Available at: <http://www.newsday.com/classifieds/jobs/employers-scour-web-for-details-on-
applicants-1.2133284 > [Accessed 18 September 2012].

Morgan, J. (2012) Rise in number of students getting a first or 2:1. [online] Available at:
<http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=418690 > [Accessed 18 September
2012].

Schaffer, N. (2009) What Do I Put in My LinkedIn Profile if I am College Student? [online]
Available at: <http://windmillnetworking.com/2009/03/30/what-do-i-put-in-my-linkedin-profile-if-
i-am-college-student/ > [Accessed 18 September 2012].


Wortham, J. (2009) More Employers Use Social Networks to Check Out Applicants. [online]
Available at: <http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/20/more-employers-use-social-networks-to-
check-out-applicants/ > [Accessed 18 September 2012].

Zapar, S.D. (2011) Oops! What NOT to Do When Approaching a Recruiter on LinkedIn [online]
Available at: <http://www.stacyzapar.com/2011/05/oops-what-not-to-do-while-networking-on.html
> [Accessed 18 September 2012].