Oct 26 2021

By Doreen Thompson-Addo, Careers Consultant


LinkedIn is a social network that focuses on professional networking and career development.  It’s the largest professional networking platform in the world, with over 750 million users in more than 200 countries worldwide! You can use LinkedIn to find a job, internship, connect with professionals, learn new skills and so much more. LinkedIn is also used a lot by recruiters and employers to source and hire candidates.  If recruiters are spending time on LinkedIn looking for people to hire, then you should be spending time optimising your profile to impress them.

But do I really need LinkedIn as part of my job search plans?

Maybe you’re wondering whether LinkedIn is really worth using as a job searching tool? Consider these reasons for adding LinkedIn to the mix:

  • Job vacancies - There are millions of job vacancies on LinkedIn which are updated regularly
  • Interview requests - A study found that 122 million people secured an interview with an employer through LinkedIn
  • Job offers - Nearly 40 million people have been hired by a person they connected with on LinkedIn
  • Popular with recruiters - Recruiters use LinkedIn to find people to hire more than any other social media platform
  • Research companies – LinkedIn is an excellent platform to find out more about companies you want to work for
  • RHUL alumni - There are over 60,000 Royal Holloway alumni on LinkedIn, making it a great platform to connect with former students who are working in a variety of professions.

So how do I get noticed by recruiters?

There are lots of ways you can optimise your chances of being noticed by recruiters.  Here are 7 easy steps to get you started.

#1 Make sure you have a professional looking profile photo

Did you know that users with a LinkedIn profile photo receive up to 21 times more profile views? You don’t need a photo on your CV, but when it comes to your LinkedIn profile it helps to have a photo that looks professional.  Choose a photo that doesn’t have any distracting backgrounds, isn’t cropping other people out, is not a selfie and that doesn’t have too many filters.

#2 Think of an attention grabbing headline

Your headline statement appears underneath your profile photo and gives a snapshot of who you are and what you are seeking. Which of these 2 headlines sounds better?

  1. Janine Smith | Royal Holloway Computer Science Graduate
  2. Janine Smith | Aspiring Java Software Developer | Seeking graduate-level programming position | Experience with JavaScript and Python

The first example does not stand out from the crowd.  The second example however, is an optimised LinkedIn headline.  Such headlines can increase the number of views to your profile significantly. When creating your headline statement think about keywords in the role or sector you want to work in and weave those words into your statement. Recruiters will be more likely to read your full profile if you have an interesting headline.

#3 Don’t skip the summary section

The summary section of your LinkedIn profile is a bit like a cover letter.  It’s your opportunity to let recruiters know about your academic and professional experience to date, and what opportunities you’re looking for. Check out this blog for some good examples of graduate LinkedIn summaries.

#4 Let recruiters know that you are actively looking for work

You can set up your LinkedIn profile to let recruiters know that you are actively looking for work.  You can list what job titles you are looking for, where you’d like to work (including remotely) and what type of job you are looking for (e.g. full-time, part-time, internship).  You can even hide this feature from your current employer so that it’s only visible to recruiters.  Click here to set this feature up.

#5 Follow relevant companies

When recruiters view your LinkedIn profile they will be able to read what your interests are.  This includes companies you are following.  If you are following companies that are relevant to the sector you’d like to work in or the job you are looking for, this will impress recruiters.

#6 Join and participate in relevant groups. 

There are hundreds of groups for every industry on LinkedIn! Joining a group is a great way to connect with other professionals and stay on top of what is going on in your industry.  Recruiters are also lurking in groups, keeping an eye out on potential people to hire.  If you want get noticed, then don’t be a silent member of a group.  Think about contributing to group discussions, or better still, start up a discussion of your own – this will raise your visibility and could get you spotted by a recruiter!

#7 Ask for recommendations

If a recruiter goes on your LinkedIn page and sees a range of fantastic recommendations from people you’ve worked and studied with, they will be more inclined to want to know more about you! Don’t be fearful of asking for recommendations.  Make sure you only ask people who can vouch for your skills and character, and get a range of recommendations that highlight the variety of skills you offer.

If you’d like to have your LinkedIn profile reviewed, you can book an appointment with a Careers Consultant.  For more info about using LinkedIn, check out our online networking resources.