Using LinkedIn as a student

Hey, guys! My name is Laura, I’m an English Literature with Creative Writing student currently on placement as a Digital and Social Marketer for LT Harper, Cybersecurity Recruitment. At work, I use LinkedIn on a daily basis, but today I want to talk about the benefits of using it as a student.

An image of Laura Reilly's LinkedIn profile, with a photo of her and the backdrop of LT Harper's logo - where Laura is doing her placement year

When and Why Did I Create a LinkedIn Profile?

I first set up my LinkedIn profile in second year, when I started looking for placements. During the first few months, I was only applying to placements that were listed on job boards, but this was getting me nowhere. I won’t sit here and lie to you, searching for placements is not easy. It takes huge amounts of resilience and determination, which is why you need to take advantage of every opportunity. My friends advised me to turn to LinkedIn, as it’s a great way to not only search for jobs, but network—and after all, it’s not what you know, but who you know, right?

What Are the Benefits of Using LinkedIn?

There are countless benefits to using  LinkedIn. I know it can be an incredibly confusing platform at first but trust me—stick with it; it’ll be worth it!

 LinkedIn can offer:

  • Online courses: Although many courses on LinkedIn require payment, keep an eye on your emails! As you start to use it more, they will send you promotional emails, granting you free access to courses for 24 hours that strengthen your key skills for thousands of jobs. They even award you a certification that you can display on your profile afterwards, for employers to see!
  • Networking opportunities: you don’t have to feel afraid to approach people and ask for advice because that’s the whole point of the platform. Predominantly, people are more than willing to have a chat with you, and this is how you build your network.
  • Your profile is like an online portfolio; not only can you list your achievements like your CV does, but you can exhibit your work in the real world, whether that’s in the form of photos, blogs, videos or websites. It’s incredibly useful to have everything in one place that potential employers can access on their own.

How Has My Opinion of LinkedIn Changed Since Starting on the Platform?

I had heard about LinkedIn before university, but I didn’t realise just how beneficial it could be. My initial thought upon using it was that it was confusing and pretty pointless to use if you weren’t a big ‘influencer.’

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

A year on, I only have around 100 connections, which for LinkedIn is by no means a lot. However, I still manage to reach thousands of people whenever I post, receiving some really lovely comments of encouragement from total strangers. If nothing else, it’s certainly a confidence booster!

My Top LinkedIn Tip?

Aside from networking, my top tip is definitely using images. If high engagement and impressions are what you’re after, people respond so much better to images than text, as it’s clearer and faster to read.

Feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn if you want to chat about anything you’re unsure of, or if you just want some further advice. My messages are always open! You can connect with me here.

Using LinkedIn Effectively webinar

Do you want to find out more about using LinkedIn? Employability and Careers are running a webinar on 25 November from 1-2pm. Book your place here.