How to use LinkedIn to find employers – mini series


We are going to shamelessly link to the University of Leeds Careers Centre Blog as they have done an excellent job, through three blog posts, in writing about how you can use LinkedIn to find relevant employers. Thank you Team Leeds!

“Whether you’re looking for experience, placements or a graduate job, it can sometimes be hard to identify potential relevant employers.  This is particularly so if you’re looking outside of the large multi-national organisations. Opportunities with other types of employers, or in other sectors, may not be as widely advertised, and many people actually find jobs and experience by pro-actively approaching employers of interest on a speculative basis. In this 3-part mini series, we’ll show you 3 easy ways you can leverage LinkedIn to identify potential employers of interest.”

3 ways LinkedIn can help you find relevant employers: Part 1 – outlines how the advanced people search function can help you identify potential employers.

3 ways LinkedIn can help you find relevant employers: Part 2 – outlines how you can use the company search feature to identify employers by location and sector.

3 ways LinkedIn can help you find potential employers: Part 3 – shows how you can use two features of LinkedIn to help you find similar organisations to those you have already discovered.


Acknowledgement: Bath University Careers and Leeds University Careers


9 Tips For Using Social Media In Your Job Hunt

linkedIN blog

Most of us use social media on a daily basis, but did you know that used strategically, social media can also be a great job search tool? Here are some tips to get you started.

Develop a professional presence

What do people find when they Google your name? This is something you need to look at, as most employers these days will Google potential job candidates to see what comes up. If the results bring up unprofessional pics or posts, then it’s time to clean up your online image. Start by taking down anything you wouldn’t want an employer to see, and set up a professional profile on LinkedIn, and make sure you include a professional-looking photo. Do the same for Twitter, Google and Facebook, and any other social media you use.

Know what information to include

Look at how other professionals in your industry present themselves online, what social media networks they belong to and what information they include in their profiles. This will give you insight into industry ‘best practice’ and will help you to develop your own profile. Make sure all your social media profiles include keywords that a recruiter or hiring manager might use to find a person just like you.

Be careful what you say

You need to present the best image of yourself online. Whether you’re blogging, tweeting or updating your Facebook status, it’s important that you maintain your reputation and professional credibility. The last thing you want to do is destroy all your hard work by making a careless Twitter comment. What you do on social media is there to stay, so think before you tweet, blog, post or share.

Activate your privacy settings

You need to effectively manage the information that’s available about you online. That means you should make sure your personal information on Facebook is private. Use the Privacy Settings and Tools menu to manage what’s visible to others and ensure that it’s set to Friends and not Everyone! This way, if an employer Googles you, they won’t be able to see the details of your profile and delve into your personal life.

Establish your own URL

Add the URL for your LinkedIn profile and Twitter handle to your CV (but not your Facebook profile). This provides an employer with another avenue to connect with you and allows them to see you in a professional light. It also demonstrates that you are social media savvy, which is an increasingly desirable asset.

Engage in online conversations

Participating in online conversations and discussion forums helps you to establish yourself as an expert in the field. It also demonstrates that you are serious about contributing to your industry, so you should share content, forward links and answer questions whenever it’s appropriate.

Connect with the right people

LinkedIn can be a great resource for finding information on organisations and the individuals who work there. If you’re looking for opportunities that aren’t advertised, put together a list of companies that you’re interested in. Use LinkedIn and your investigative powers to find out the names of people who work there and then look at ways that you can start connecting with them.Follow them on Twitter, repost their tweets, and look at who your shared connections are.

Let people know you are looking

Make sure your connections know that you’re looking for a job, as your contacts are the best people to provide you with referrals. You want people to think of you when a position becomes available and for them to let you know when they hear about a position they think you would be interested in.

Follow industry news

There is not one social media network that works best for all job seekers. The important thing is to know which platforms are most used by your industry. Find out the latest happenings by joining specialist industry groups on LinkedIn, following industry blogs, signing up to newsletters and participating in discussion forums. This helps you stay up-to-date with the latest industry information and provides you with the opportunity to make connections that could result in job leads.

More on LinkedIn – how to get ‘Groups’ to work for you


Why join LinkedIn Groups…….


Simply, within the vast network of separated professionals on LinkedIn, groups allow people to connect on a single theme. Groups are a great way to network with NEW people without introductions or cold calling. Why? Because you have something in common.

Groups can be anything from alumni associations, professional associations, common interests, even companies and subsets within companies, you can even create your own group in about 2 minutes.


Why groups are a great job search tool


By joining and participating in a group, you (the job seeker) have a powerful way of adding value to and growing your online reputation. When you participate, people notice.


Furthermore, by being members of the same group as your target company, your odds of getting a favourable response to your job inquiry are much higher.


Group Guidelines for the Job Seeker


Join a group that takes you where you want to go, not one that keeps you where you are.

Join a group that you WILL participate in. Don’t be a fly on the wall.

Participation in a group means posting and responding to discussion. Make sure you are putting your best foot forward, be positive, show your motivation.

Tell your truth but don’t shout! If you are unemployed, then don’t be ashamed and try to keep it a secret, but don’t flaunt it either. Just be cool and make sure that you are always honest about where you are and what you are looking for.

Identify other leaders in the group and determine whether they could be valuable connections or information sources; if so, then by all means reach out to them.

New Year’s Resolutions and Staying Motivated!

Now that the Christmas break is a few weeks behind us, it is time to look at our ‘New Year’s Resolutions! January has been seen, for many years, as the time for dreams and aspirations, to make plans and to move forwards, whether you want a career change, a new job or perhaps just a way of progressing within your current one. It is the time when most of us formulate plans.  But how many of us actually take these plans to the next level?

We’ve heard all the statistics about the amount of people who take out gym memberships in January compared to the percentage who are still actively using the gym in March.  And it’s the same principle with careers – lots of people start the New Year with a career-related resolution but, 2 months later, how many have actually got stuck into these challenges and how many have actually just got stuck in their old rut?

The solution to all this can really be as simple as action-planning, writing a ‘to do’ list, setting yourself individual targets…whatever form it takes and whatever you want to call it.  The fundamental mistake that people so often make with their challenges is that they get so overwhelmed with the greatness of the final goal that the forget to plan in any detail the steps they  need to take in order to get there successfully.  There is a huge amount of power in the simple process of writing these plans down.  Don’t just keep them in your head.  Similarly there is a huge amount of power in the process of ticking off these smaller steps once they have been accomplished.  Seeing that you are working towards success, however small these steps are, is a real motivating factor.

So, don’t let your only New Year’s Resolution be to get a new job.  Instead, have 10 smaller resolutions which may, for example, include getting your CV reviewed, attending a networking event, researching industry-specific recruitment agencies, completing a training course in xyz – whatever is relevant to your particular circumstances.  And make the final one ‘Getting a New Job’.   Give yourself realistic timescales for each one and reward yourself as you make progress.

Good luck!

9 simple steps to getting the most out of Linkedin

Most of the recruiters and employers have quit traditional methods of searching for a perfect candidate. No longer do they spend all their time going through job portals but they also search for interesting candidates on social media sites, blogs, forums and professional networking sites.

Linkedin is one of many such sites that help you reach out to employers and gain useful information to make you better informed when applying for a job. With more than 6 million registered users in the UK, and a new member joining Linkedin approximately every second, Linkedin represents a bank of potential employer contacts and information.

Here are some top tips to make Linkedin a vital component to your job search, reproduced with kind permission from ‘onlineastevens’:

Step 1 – Complete your profile and make it relevant

Use the progress bar. It’s simple, 100% is the target. As you are completing your profile add context to every element of your work experience. This gives the viewer an insight as to whether you’re worth connecting with. What will you be using your Linkedin profile for? Networking? Job hunting? Business development? As an example, if you work for an advertising agency and you’re trying to attract more clients, write about your success stories and large campaigns, not about your transferable skills.

Step 2 – Seek recommendations

Do not be afraid to ask for recommendations, they qualify you as a useful contact

“90% of people trust online recommendations from people they know” 

Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey of over 25,000 Internet consumers from 50 countries

This behaviour applies to online consumers and online networkers. Request recommendations from colleagues, customers, graduates, suppliers, basically anybody that you have had a professional relationship with. It will feel weird the first time you do it, but more often than not people are more than happy to obligue. Like products on Amazon, people with recommendations are a more attractive prospect.

Step 3 – Link up with LinkedIn

Link your Twitter, Facebook, blog and website to your LinkedIn profile. If you’re a WordPress blogger, then add the WordPress application which will automatically send out updates of your latest posts. Another plugin you can use is the SlideShare application to share any presentations you would like to share.

Whilst on the subject of social media accounts, Google yourself and make sure your online presence, across all networks, is of a professional standard. Delete or protect anything that isn’t.

Step 4 – <This is an easy one> Personalise your profile link

This is easily done. Best case scenario is making your personalised profile link the same as your Twitter name.

Step 5 – Search for and add groups

The first and most natural approach here is to add groups that match your skills profile, and it is useful to do this. However you should also add groups that are used by your target market, even if they are not directly relevant to you. Also, don’t just use these groups as a platform to push your wares – this will turn people off you straight away. Offer advice and useful opinions, position yourself as an expert of your field.

Step 6 – Add EVERYONE!

Whenever you speak to contacts via email, add a line that states you would like to link up on LinkedIn. Don’t wait for a response to your email – invite them to connect on LinkedIn straight away. 9 times out of 10 your invite will be accepted. This is a great way to grow you connection numbers quickly and make the most out of every professional interaction.

Step 7 – Promote your Linkedin profile

Add your Linkedin profile to your email signature and if possible your business cards. Give people every opportunity to connect with you.

Step 8 – Use Linkedin Answers

This is the section of LinkedIn (first option under the ‘More’ menu) that is used to ask industry-specific questions to the Linkedin population. Try to answer 2 or 3 questions a week and you’ll be surprised at how benefitial this can be.

Step 9 – Use Linkedin regularly

Anything that is worth doing takes time and with Linkedin, the more effort you put in the greater the return. This doesn’t mean spending hours on the site. Once you have steps 1 to 8 in place, you can expect a useful return on the following:

  • a status update each day
  • one or two comments on groups each week
  • adding all new business contacts on a day-to-day basis

If you want to make a start, connect with me here, you may also want to connect with the University of Stirling Alumni Group by searching Linkedin Groups. There, that’s two contacts already!!

Have you thought of networking as a job hunting tool?

Networking is a critical part of any job hunt, it’s your opportunity to present the real you, rather than a piece of paper and a covering letter. It’s your opportunity to really sell yourself.

Graduates are renowned for being technology aficionados, social networking addicts and being constantly surrounded by industry experts and peers with the same objectives. All the tools you need to network are, in fact, at your fingertips: Linkedin; Twitter;  facebook; to name just a few.

Local business events are also great networking tools. Often you will find that chambers of commerce or business clubs have events which are free to attend and hold many of the area’s influential business people. A great starting point for this is: this site allows you to search for networking events regionally. Always do your preparation for these events, appropriately dressed and take copies of your CV, you never know who you could meet.

The way in which you present yourself is really important when you network, and regardless of how hard you have been working all week, that first impression is essential in helping you to be memorable, so make sure you think about how you want to be remembered!

Our leaflet on networking explains how important making a good first impression is especially if you want people to help you or potentially even work with you in the future:

First impressions aren’t always created face to face however so remember that what you post on the internet can be accessed! Try typing your name into Google and see what comes up – your facebook page , your linked in page, your twitter page, your location,  that ‘not so friendly’ post your wrote on that forum last week, things you don’t want people to know about!

The Drum recently posted this article which claims 91% of potential employers screen candidates through social media sites – so when you’re applying for graduate jobs, maybe you should re-think your profile picture!

One final thought, do check out our events webpages for any interesting networking workshops or employer events.

Graduate Placement Projects

Securing a graduate placement can be one way of kick-starting your career. A placement opportunity such as offered by Talent Scotland  can give you the chance to:

  • get valuable ‘hands-on’ work experience
  • prove yourself to an employer
  • build your confidence
  • make contacts in your chosen industry
  • see whether a particular role or organisation is right for you
  • boost your future employment prospects

I have included information from the talent Scotland website for you to have a look at and the link takes you directly to the placement vacancy pages – do have a look to see if any of these opportunites interest you:

 Talent Scotland

The Talent Scotland graduate placement programme can offer an opportunity to work on a short-term project with an established business or social enterprise.

Organisations of all sizes participate and you receive a minimum salary of £14,000 (pro rata) whilst on your placement. A supplement of £1,500 is included to placements based in the Highlands and Islands.

Participating businesses are dynamic, growth-oriented and located across Scotland, within the private and voluntary sectors. Projects last from three months to one year and must be quantifiable and measureable.

Graduate placement projects

Projects can cross a range of disciplines including

  • New product design and development or product adaption for overseas markets
  • New process development and implementation
  • Strategic marketing, target marketing and market research
  • Targeting new international markets
  • Exporting and increased international participation
  • More effective use of ICT and e-business to improve business performance
  • Improved environmental management to achieve business benefits
  • Developing effective human resource policies

For placements of more than three months, you will also receive a minimum of two days off-site training, specifically designed to develop additional innovation and business skills.

Who is the programme open to?

The programme is open to all graduates who

  • Have graduated at degree or postgraduate level from a higher education institution within the past two years
  • Have up-to-date visa documentation if required — international graduates only
  • Have good English language skills appropriate to a business environment
  • Have no more than one year’s relevant (graduate level) work experience

If you meet these criteria and have the skills for the job, you can apply.

How do I apply?

Visit the placement page to view and apply for graduate placement opportunities


If you have any questions about the Graduate Placement Programme email the TalentScotland Graduate Placements team

For enquiries regarding placements in the Highlands and Islands region please email or phone 01463 244 332