Careers Service

What is LinkedIn and why is it useful for students?

LinkedIn is a key global professional networking site and is an invaluable tool for students to network with alumni and recruiters. Employers are also using LinkedIn as a recruitment tool.

LinkedIn is useful for:

  • Developing a professional online profile to complement your CV
  • Making contacts with people working in your chosen sector.
  • Searching for organisations to target by your location of preference, or industry sector.
  • Researching jobs and different types of job and career paths.
  • Connecting with alumni around the globe for insight and guidance.

Getting started with LinkedIn

You can get started in 4 quick steps:

1. Develop an effective student (or graduate) LinkedIn profile

  • CV and LinkedIn Guide Download a copy or pick one up at Careers.
  • Start by copying across information from your most current CV.

2. Add existing contacts

Look for your friends, family, classmates, colleagues and employers from part-time jobs and internships, and contacts from volunteering, extra-curricular activities etc.

3. Join some LinkedIn groups

There are over a million groups on LinkedIn. Those that are probably most useful to you include:

  • Sector groups related to your career interests (e.g. Finance, Marketing or Environmental Work)
  • Alumni groups (eg The University of Manchester Alumni Association)
  • Geographical networking groups (eg. Manchester, New York, Mumbai)

4. Search for people and organisations

Use LinkedIn's search box in the top right-hand corner to find people and organisations. Use these to research career paths and identify people who might be able to help you with your career plans.

Finally, before you contact anyone on LinkedIn, remember one of the golden rules of networking: build relationships gradually, never ask a new contact directly for a job - just ask for information and advice initially and you may find this leads to other opportunities, especially if you keep an open mind.

Useful LinkedIn groups to join

Note: You will need to be logged in to to be able to access the groups listed here.

As with other social media platforms, scammers also use LinkedIn so be careful and use your judgement when considering a contact or potential opportunity made via LinkedIn.

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is…
  • Do not part with any money unless you understand exactly what you are getting.
  • Be suspicious of emails asking you for personal information beyond your email address.
  • Be suspicious of emails coming from people you don't know asking you to install software or open an attachement.
  • If in doubt, don’t apply or agree to anything.

For more information about jobs that you should be suspicious of, have a look at Common types of scam jobs.