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Durham University

Careers & Enterprise Centre


Using LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social networking website and app where employers, professionals and students can connect and network. It also acts as an online CV, and is a useful tool for searching for vacancies, researching companies and joining networking groups.

It is said that approximately 40 million LinkedIn users are students and graduates. See the following sections on how to get more from your LinkedIn account, to aid your career planning and job search.

Getting started with LinkedIn

Being active on LinkedIn will increase your ranking on search engines and will therefore make it easier for potential employers to find you. Once you have set up your profile, you can begin networking and directing potential employers to your profile (e.g. by including a link to your personal profile URL on your CV).

Many students have a basic LinkedIn profile, however do not use it in a pro-active manner to enhance their career planning and job search. See the Getting more from LinkedIn help sheet (in the resources section below) to find out more about using LinkedIn to: complete a professional profile; make professional connections and network; research companies, organisations and their employees; search for jobs and uncover opportunities.

PLEASE NOTE: You will be unable to access any of LinkedIn's features until you set up a LinkedIn account. You can sign up for the free version of the account from the LinkedIn home page.


LinkedIn Alumni Tool

LinkedIn has an alumni tool for every university. The tool acts like a searchable database of profiles for every individual (with a LinkedIn account) that has studied at that university. It is a powerful tool for researching the career paths of alumni of your university, and for making new connections in areas of work that you are interested in.

You can view the 100,000+ results for Durham alumni, by visiting Durham University's 'school' page on LinkedIn, and then clicking on the 'Alumni' tab: You can then use the tool to filter profiles based on key words, when they studied/graduated and the following categories:

  • where they live
  • where they work
  • what they do
  • what they studied
  • what they are skilled at
  • how you are connected

See our How to use the LinkedIn Alumni Tool help sheet (in the resources section below) for guidance on how to use the tool to: explore the career trajectories of alumni of your course or subject department; to research the career areas and type of organisations they have gone onto after university; make new connections with alumni working in industries or sectors that you are interested in.