Using LinkedIn as a Networking and Job Search Resource

Using CyHire and face-to-face networking are the most effective way to find employment.  Companies that use CyHire and visit campus are specifically looking to hire ISU engineers, and this is why we highly recommend that you engage with employers when they are on campus.  However, what if an employer that interests you does not have a strong recruiting presence at ISU?  Using your personal and professional networks to reach beyond the borders of campus is the second most effective approach.  LinkedIn is a very useful tool for expanding and managing your professional network, as well as locating employment opportunities.

LinkedIn, located at, is the world’s largest networking site and is used by thousands of business professionals and students every day.  It is a social media site that is focused on making professional connections between peers, friends, companies, and professional groups.  Individuals use it to develop their brand and post a professional profile of skills, work experience, and interests.  Companies are also using it to develop their brand, recruit employees, and find business partners.  LinkedIn is very helpful to students in that it allows you to investigate the background of companies, connect with recruiters and engineers in your area of interest, and potentially connect with ISU alums that work for target companies.  LinkedIn will help you find mentors, topical experts, and build network contacts that you can use throughout your career.

According to LinkedIn data from 2013:

  • 30 Million Students and Recent Graduates use LinkedIn
  • 2.9 Million Companies use LinkedIn

We recommend that students use LinkedIn as a tool to: help themselves develop an online, professional profile, expand their professional network outside of campus borders and track potential employers and their positions.  A primary advantage of LinkedIn for recruiting is that it allows you to have a work-related profile that demonstrates skills and experience, and also allows for added features like descriptions of projects and examples of positive communications.  Furthermore, you control the profile’s public view settings to allow companies interested in your background to reach out for potential work opportunities.

LinkedIn has a website plus mobile platform and its basic features are completely free.  This information guide will be referencing the basic (free) services on the website and highlight the best practices for using these services.


The Employment Process Menu


Step 1: Understanding Employers and the College Recruiting Process

    -Maintain a Positive Attitude

Step 2: Determine Career Goals and Skillset

Step 3: Identify Preliminary Target Employers and Industries

Step 4: Develop Effective Marketing Materials

Step 5: Search for Specific Employment and Research Target Companies