LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and  many businesses now use it as a career-enrichment platform. It is also an increasingly popular forum used by students and graduates to develop a network of business and professional contacts in order to raise their profile within a professional environment.  

Through LinkedIn it is possible to:

  • build a network of professional contacts.
  • source career profiles for your chosen sector.
  • research organisations that might provide graduate opportunities.
  • connect with people you may have networked with previously.

In order to get the most out of this resource, you will need to use good networking skills as well as create a strong profile. Follow our step by step guide to get you started:

Create an effective LinkedIn profile

  • Make sure you already have an effective and up to date CV, as you can use a lot of the information within it to create your LinkedIn profile.
  • Follow the LinkedIn tip sheets on building a student profile and the profile checklist to make sure that you have included everything.
  • Browse other student and graduate profiles for ideas and inspiration.
  • Essential LinkedIn Guide (pdf) - includes an example profile.

Start by adding existing contacts

  • Use the connections tab to search for and link to people you already know, especially colleagues and employers from your work experience, volunteering and interests.

Be proactive and join some Linkedin groups

  • Search for groups related to your chosen career area. Details of LinkedIn groups are often included on the websites of professional bodies.
  • Look for University of Portsmouth alumni groups.
  • Locate any regional networking groups. 
  • Use the button on the left of the search bar on Linked In to filter your search by groups, universities and more. 

Research people and organisations

  • You can also use the search box to find people and organisations. Look for people who have followed a particular career route or who work for an organisation that interests you.

Finally, remember that all the rules for effective networking apply to LinkedIn and any online networks. Make sure you read our top tips on how to network before you start. Linkedin provide a series of quick tip sheets and videos to help students and graduates create a profile and network effectively.