Careers and Employability Service
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LinkedIn and online presence

Close up of people holding polaroid images of themselves in their hands


Your online personal presence is the image you portray to others through your public profile online. This could be through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn or the information returned by simply Googling your name. 

Thinking about our online identity is important. Creating a professional online presence is particularly key when applying for your next steps after university, but it is likely to be something you think about throughout your working life.

Many employers will check out a candidate’s online presence as part of the application process or before making an offer. As well as using social media platforms to recruit talent, some studies estimate that as many as 80% of employers check out how candidates appear online before hiring.

Read our blog: Your Best Digital Self

Profile image of Daria Paterek

When I realised LinkedIn wasn’t just about recruiting, I started unlocking its full potential.  I post twice a week, connect with professionals in the marketing industry, and grow my personal brand – I even started to receive job offers.

Daria Paterek, English student

Read Daria's blog post

Why should I use LinkedIn? Includes a video from our team

Many employers would expect to see a candidate on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional networking tool where you can connect with individuals, groups and companies. More than 25 million professionals in the UK alone have created a personal profile that showcases their experience, knowledge and skills, which they then use to contact others.

With more than 31 million companies on LinkedIn you can: 

  • establish connections with individuals who have roles you’re interested in
  • join groups to understand the issues affecting the sector or industry that you want to work in
  • research companies or organisations to find out what it’s like to work for them
  • find job vacancies

Reasons to use LinkedIn

In this video Luke Lynch, Employability Education Projects Officer, explains how you can make LinkedIn work for you and why this powerful networking tool is something you should be using right now.


Connecting with employees of companies that you are interested in working for on LinkedIn can give you unique insights into what it is really like to work for them.

Reach out and ask them for a virtual coffee, you’ll be surprised how many people are willing to have a chat, and it might open opportunities you weren’t expecting.

But even if you don’t have the opportunity to meet anyone look into their career history, the jobs they have done, and companies they have worked for, this can give you an insight into the experiences that the company values when making hiring decisions. 

Find out more information about researching employers on our page.

Researching employers

How do I develop my LinkedIn profile? Includes instructional videos 

Watch the videos below for tips on how you can develop sections of your LinkedIn profile. 

Your professional headline

Your professional headline is one of the first elements of your profile that LinkedIn users will see and so it's important to get it right.

Find out from Hannah Woolley, Employability Education Manager, how to create a headline to capture attention. 

Your summary

Are you using LinkedIn to make contacts and search for job vacancies? Then you'll need a strong personal summary.

Hannah Woolley, Employability Education Manager, outlines the five steps to take to impress your audience.


Ten must-haves on your LinkedIn profile

For tips about profile pictures, to keywords and punchy headlines. Read our ten top tips for creating an impactful LinkedIn profile.

Aashna Khan shares her tips for expanding your network on LinkedIn

Aashna Khan

After taking my first few actions and having positive results, I’ve started to see the benefits of investing the time to use the platform regularly.

I would encourage anyone who's serious about their career to do the same.

Read Aashna's blog post


Rosie Pinder shares her view on how you should be using LinkedIn

Mobile photo screen showing social media apps

I recently direct messaged (DM’d) a Nottingham alumna who is currently working as a freelance journalist.

She answered my questions and even offered to talk in more depth over the phone, which was a really helpful experience! 

Read Rosie's blog post


Tips for your online social media presence

How do I make sure my social media is workplace ready? 

Businesses have been building their social media presence for quite some time and some employers will look at what potential employees are doing online. This means you need to do two things:

  • brush up your public presence
  • protect your privacy

Step 1:

Perform a social media audit

Log out of all your social media accounts and then Google yourself. Use quotation marks to get more relevant search results and if you have a popular name add your location or date of birth.

For example: "Joe Thompson" Nottingham. Identify which profiles are yours in the search results. What you see is what potential employers will see. 

Create a list of active profiles and decide whether you'd like to use them for professional or personal use. You may encounter some old accounts that need deleting.

Step 2:

Protect your privacy

You don't have to use every social media platform professionally. If you want to keep some accounts for personal use, that's completely fine. Just protect your privacy. If Instagram is your scrap book of nights out, make your account private.

Having a social life isn't a crime, but you don't need to expose it to potential employers. Same goes if you want to keep Facebook personal; check your privacy settings are set to 'Friends only'. 

I am so thankful for your advice to look at the interviewers' LinkedIn profiles. One of the interviewers was responsible for international matters so I researched that part of the business. This helped me to predict what type of questions they might ask.
Yanbo Li, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) student (2022)

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