What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a free online network for professional networking with more than 400 million members in 200 countries and 170 industries.

LinkedIn is a great resource for:

  • Networking, career exploration, and job search.
  • Sharing advice and information with professionals in your field through updates and groups.
  • Recruiters to post jobs as well as to screen and search for possible candidates.


Build Your Network

Add to your connections.

Invite past and current co-workers, classmates, friends, and family to connect. Be sure to add these 3 things to your customized invitations: the person’s name, a personal message, and the words “thank you.” For ideas on customizing invites, read this blog from the Muse.

Join groups.

You can join up to 100 groups.  Using the top search bar, click on the magnifying glass, add in a keyword, and select “Groups” from the “More” menu bar.

Expand Your Network for the Job Search

Networking is the most effective aspect of a job search strategy. Using LinkedIn can help you find contacts to conduct informational interviews and lead to job opportunities.  Visit our Networking & Informational Interviewing page for tips and sample messages for outreach.

How to make networking connections on LinkedIn:

  1. Ask for an Introduction
    You can ask a 1st level connection to introduce you to one of their connections. Go to any 2nd level connection, who you’d like to reach out to. On the 2nd level connection’s profile, select “Share profile.” This will take you to create a message – add your 1st connection’s name in the “To” box.  Create a message about why you’d like to be introduced. Write a short but very professional message to your 1st level connection, asking her or him if they will forward your message along.  See a sample request for an informational interview here. OR  Send a regular email to your 1st level connection with this same request.  Since not everyone reads their LinkedIn messages, this method might be the better approach.
  2. Use your groups
    Message your 2nd and 3rd level connections for an informational interview.
  3. Look for and connect with Alumni
    Search “Northeastern University” in the search bar on the LinkedIn home page to take you to the school’s page. Click “See Alumni” to search for current students and alumni based on “Where they live,” “Where they work,” “What they do,” “What they studied,” “What they are skilled at,” and “How you are connected.” Follow step 1 or 2 above to connect.
  4. Explore target company pages for connections
    Company pages list current, and former employees selected job openings, and news/updates. Select to “Follow” target companies for updates. Reach out to informational interview and network with 1st and 2nd connections from the company page.

Search and Apply for Job Opportunities

To maximize LinkedIn as a job search tool:

  • Use the “Jobs” tab to review and apply for open positions. A list of jobs that may interest you will appear based on keywords from your profile.
  • Set your career interests. You may narrow your search using the “Search jobs” field or by updating your career interests.
  • Let recruiters know that you are looking for employment. Indicate this preference while setting your career interests.
  • Create a search alert and get notified of targeted job opportunities. Click here to find out how.
  • Apply! Utilize the “Apply” feature for jobs you are interested in. You may be able to apply only with your LinkedIn profile, may be requested to submit a resume and cover letter, or may be directed to the company’s website to apply for the position.