LinkedIn: Job Searching and Networking
Use LinkedIn to establish a professional online presence—a crucial element of networking, searching for jobs and internships, and developing your career.
Ways to Use LinkedIn
The main benefits of a LinkedIn profile include opportunities to
- source employers and gain industry knowledge
- find contacts and make connections
- identify internship and full-time opportunities of interest
Learn about Employers
Follow companies of interest, people, and hashtags to personalize your feed. This allows you to learn, stay updated on relevant news, and find potential connections and career opportunities. Following companies is a great way to demonstrate your interest and will be viewed favorably by recruiters. When you find employers of interest, look at the “Similar Pages” category.
Find Potential Contacts
Networking opportunities abound on LinkedIn, which has more than 500 million members. Connecting with people is a great way to learn more about career paths and form relation-ships that may lead to job or internship opportunities.
LinkedIn offers two helpful networking strategies:
- See Alumni: Find this tool on the Northwestern University school page to unlock a database of more than 150,000 alumni that you can filter by location, industry, and major. When you see alumni you want to connect with, you can send an email through the Our Northwestern alumni directory or send a connection request.
- Groups: Find active groups that are relevant to your interests and goals, including Northwestern groups (such as Northwestern University Alumni) and professional groups (such as Area Startups or Marketing, Media, and Advertising Professionals). You can send messages to people in the same group even if you’re not connected.
As LinkedIn is always updating its functionality, stay on top of making sure others can view your profile. To help you optimize your online professional presence, consider these tips:
- Share your contact info in your “About” section, or be sure your settings allow your connections to view your email address.
- If you’re looking for internship or job opportunities, make sure your “Job Seeking Preferences” are set to allow recruiters to know you are open to opportunities.
- Make your profile public—you can always edit your profile, so don’t strive for perfection before going public.
- Allowing others to see that you’ve viewed their profile can be positive and may lead them to check out your profile.
Sample Connection Messages
When connecting with a new contact on LinkedIn, it’s best to write a personalized message rather than rely on LinkedIn’s suggestion. While many people are willing to connect with students even when they haven’t met face to face, your chances of connecting increase when you express genuine interest and intention. Here are several examples:
- Hello, Khadeejah, I’m a Northwestern student looking to learn more about careers in marketing and would love to add you to my network.
- Marco, it was so nice meeting you at the Northwestern University info session yesterday. I would like to add you to my network so we can stay connected.
- Jordan, you mentioned at the Northwestern career panel today that you’re open to students connecting. I appreciated what you had to share about finding the path to your current role and would love to stay in touch.
To learn more about networking, please visit Networking: Connecting with Others