How to use LinkedIn to achieve your graduate goals – tips from a careers expert every twenty-something should read

How to use LinkedIn to achieve your graduate goals – tips from a careers expert every twenty-something should read

LinkedIn: we all know it is important for finding career opportunities, but most of us have no idea what to do with it. It’s not obvious what the protocol is to us twenty-somethings. LinkedIn isn’t as chatty as Facebook, yet not as formal as a CV and cover letter. And is it rude to connect with people you haven’t met? What about the etiquette when it comes to direct messages?

That’s where the LinkedIn angels that are the Graduate Goals team come in. When CEO Carrie contacted me asking if I’d be interested in a LinkedIn facelift, I jumped at the chance. My profile was lacklustre to say the least, and I knew I wasn’t marketing myself to the best of my abilities – a pretty fatal flaw as a freelancer!

Graduate Goals offer a range of job search and career support services, including professional CV and cover letter writing, and job application and personal statement writing. The company also offers one-to-one career coaching and job search sessions with a fully qualified professional coach via Skype. All coaches have specialist expertise and experience, which is a Godsend given how much of a minefield the graduate job market is!

Twenty-Something City LinkedIn tips from Graduate Goals on Macbook

How Graduate Goals pimped my LinkedIn profile

I didn’t realise how much untapped potential I was neglecting with my LinkedIn page before its MOT! The first thing Carrie did was to rewrite my headline to make it more expansive, and to bring it in line with my career aspirations. Carrie explains that this means I should rank higher in search results, which will hopefully lead to an increase in opportunities (oh halleloo!).

Next up, my summary section was completely rewritten to provide a more in-depth and comprehensive overview of my experience, skills and achievements. It’s now keyword rich to increase my visibility in search results. Carrie identified a further 10 relevant skills and added them to my existing displayed skillset. Before my LinkedIn makeover I didn’t realise just how many things I am good at, or – more importantly- how marketable they are!

My experience section was also filled out with more detail, to build upon those important key search terms related to my industry and expertise. Finally, my career visibility profile was reworked and updated in line with my (superstar) aspirations. Thanks to Graduate Goals, my profile is now more visible for relevant opportunities according to LinkedIn’s own search facilities and algorithms.

My LinkedIn makeover has not only left me feeling more professional, but I am now so much more confident in fully using this social media networking opportunity to its full potential. Most of us aren’t good at talking ourselves up, so it can be really helpful to have an outside expert do it for us. If you are feeling at a bit of a careers crossroads then I’d definitely recommend chatting with Graduate Goals to see what they can do for you – even if it’s just a confidence boost!

Twenty-Something City LinkedIn tips with diary and iPhone

Quick tips for enhancing your LinkedIn presence

Graduate Goals’ CEO Carrie is a postgraduate qualified career coach, with a background in graduate recruitment and seven years working as a careers consultant at a large UK university.

She says: “I started Graduate Goals with the aim of giving students and graduates easy access to professional, affordable careers support. Although the majority of universities have their own careers service, these are often small in nature, usually one careers adviser per several thousand students, and many students struggle to access consistent and timely support. Most Universities also offer limited support to Graduates, with access to Careers centres typically expiring after 6-12 months of graduation.”

Here are Carrie’s tips than mean any graduate can make the most of their LinkedIn profile:

Recommendations: If you haven’t done it already, try and get at least 2 or 3 recommendations as soon as possible. You can actively seek recommendations from people you are connected with on LinkedIn or ask for recommendations from lecturers, teachers and employers.

Groups and Forums: Look for and join relevant LinkedIn Groups. They are important for making yourself known on LinkedIn. You can search for specific groups or, alternatively, LinkedIn will provide you with regular suggestions of groups that may be appropriate to you. Many groups have forums where you’ll find useful industry advice and even be able to speak directly to recruiters.

Making Connections: Connect with your teachers, classmates and colleagues. Where possible, take the time to write a short, personalised message when you add a new connection. You can request an introduction to a new connection if you have someone in common. You can use your university’s alumni pages to search for graduates from your university who have your ideal job or graduated in your subject. Get in touch with them to get advice.

Customise your URL: You can create a custom URL for your LinkedIn profile, something that is simplified and therefore easier to share or add onto your CV. Simply go the “Settings” menu, click “Edit your public profile” and then “Customize your public profile URL”.

Twenty-Something City LinkedIn tips from Graduate Goal on iPhone

Other tips:

  • Connect with anyone you feel may help you and search through your contacts’ connections
  • Start your own discussions in groups and forums
  • Keep your profile up-to-date. As soon as you gain any work experience or project work, update your profile and connect with the people you worked with.
  • Check your privacy status in the ‘settings’ menu. When job searching, it’s best to set it to public so everyone can see your profile.
  • Recommend and endorse others – this will encourage them to do the same.

Graduate Goals’ services range from £20-£60 in price and can be found and booked online at  You can get an exclusive 15% off with code GOAL1 (valid until 16 December 2018)

Happy careers’ hunting, folks!



I was gifted an optimised LinkedIn Profile in exchange for a review. However, all thoughts are my own.