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How to find a job via LinkedIn as a recent graduate

LinkedIn has taken over the position of traditional job boards as the most important place to find a job as a recent graduate. For recruiters LinkedIn is the most used platform to reach candidates, according to a study by Jobvite (2018). As a job seeker, this means you will have to be active on LinkedIn as well. Putting your CV online just on job boards won’t cut it anymore. You will need to take a more active approach.

Why is LinkedIn important for job seekers?

LinkedIn is the most used social business platform on our planet. With a staggering 660 million members in 2020, LinkedIn is everywhere and the possibilities of the platform are almost limitless when it comes to work. As a result of this, recruiters have become almost completely dependent on it for their sourcing activities and more and more vacancies are being posted on LinkedIn as well.

However, LinkedIn has much more to offer than just being a platform for recruiters to find scarce talent. Job seekers can get just as much value out of LinkedIn as recruiters or sales managers. Basically, LinkedIn is your digital business card and resume. It allows you to connect with like-minded people in your area of expertise or industry. By networking, you can create meaningful business relations that can help you achieve your career goals and ambitions. As a young graduate, this is even more important as you would want to build a large network of meaningful connections to help you in finding your dream job.

You can’t really go around LinkedIn anymore. Whether you are actively looking for a job or just want to network with people in your industry, LinkedIn is the place to be. But as a young graduate it can be difficult to harness the power of LinkedIn to your advantage. That’s why I have highlighted the best ways to find a job on LinkedIn as a young graduate.

How can I use LinkedIn to find a job as a young graduate?

  • Complete your LinkedIn profile

As I stated earlier, your LinkedIn profile is just like your resume. Therefore, it should be complete and clean. Add all your relevant work experience and education and elaborate on the skills and experiences that make you unique. Check out my detailed guide about building your LinkedIn profile.

  • Join and participate in LinkedIn groups

LinkedIn has a large number of groups created by other LinkedIn users. These groups are usually focused on specific subjects. As a recent graduate, I recommend joining alumni groups of your university. As in most of these types of groups, a lot of opportunities are shared. Besides that, it allows you to connect with former students of your university. This might create chances within companies that would normally not be possible for you. Of course, this doesn’t happen just out of the blue. The key to success is to be active and participate in these kinds of groups. There are lots of things you could share in these kinds of groups, such as unique experiences, knowledge, opportunities or your own career ambitions. Even if it doesn’t directly result in a job, it is still beneficial to the value of your LinkedIn network and can really help you in the long term.

  • Set your LinkedIn profile open to new opportunities

This is the most efficient way to get job offers on LinkedIn. Open to new opportunities is a setting on LinkedIn which you can enable to let recruiters know that you are searching for a new job. It’s a great way to passively search for new job openings. As you will get a lot of so-called ‘InMails’ from recruiters that came across your profile in their searches.

The way this function works is that on your profile settings page there will be an option to select whether or you want your profile to be visible to recruiters. From here on, you can choose the job you are looking for as well as possible locations and the type of jobs (e.g. fulltime, internship). One thing to keep in mind is that you can enable this for only recruiters to see (this means only LinkedIn users with a premium recruiter account will notice that you are open to new opportunities) or every LinkedIn user. As a young graduate searching for your first job, I would recommend enabling it for everyone to see. If you are currently employed and looking to change jobs, it would be better to enable it just for recruiters. The good part of only enabling it for recruiters is that everyone that works at your current employer cannot see that you are searching for a new job (even with a premium recruiter account).

When you have filled in all the fields, you are now showing up in searches from recruiters. Recruiters search by keywords, that means that if you do not have the right kind of keywords in your profile you will not show up in their search results. So, in order to show up in these searches, it is important that your profile contains keywords that match the jobs you are looking for. That’s why I first started talking about completing your LinkedIn profile. If you do this right and add the right type of keywords, you will get approached a lot more on LinkedIn.  

  • Engaging with your network

Besides LinkedIn groups, it is also important to interact with connections in your network. By simply liking, sharing and commenting on content you can spark discussion and interaction with your connections. As a result of that, you will show up on the timelines of other LinkedIn users as well. Using interaction as a tool to show your vision and knowledge to the world is a great way to get noticed by recruiters and hiring managers.

  • Pro-actively reaching out to recruiters and hiring managers on LinkedIn

Another great option to increase your chances of getting interviews is by pro-actively reaching out recruiters on LinkedIn. The first step is to send your ‘targets’ a connection request. Do not forget to add a message to it explaining why you want to connect with them. Keep it short and simple. It could be something along the line of this:

I noticed you are working as a recruiter at company X. I saw an interesting vacancy on your website, and I think I might be a good fit, that’s why I have sent you this request. I would love to get in contact with you to learn more about company X and the vacancy as well as to tell more about my ambitions and experience!”

Doing this will enlarge your network with valuable connections and at the same increase your chances of getting job interviews. It is an effective way to get your name out there and ensures that you are not ending up on the big pile of applications.

LinkedIn vacancies

Just like as on regular job boards, you can find vacancies posted by companies on LinkedIn as well. The good part is that you can easily apply with your LinkedIn profile. Although, I recommend to attach your resume and/or motivation letter too.


The most effective way to find a job on LinkedIn is by a combination of both an active and a passive approach. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is complete and that you have enabled the option ‘Open to new opportunities’. Besides that, you should be interacting with content on LinkedIn and actively approaching recruiters and hiring managers. This will result in a higher count of job interviews and ultimately job offers as well.

About Author

Hirebel is focused on providing you with valuable insights on how to improve your career and how to get the most out of your working life. Occasionally there are sidesteps to topics related to new technologies that enable people to achieve their (life) goals.

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