How to use LinkedIn to find an internship

Since you’re reading this blog, I’m assuming that you’ve already set up your LinkedIn profile and filled it with information about you and what you have achieved. If not, it’s time to back track a few steps; click here for some advice.

Optimise your profile

An example of a profile summary
The first thing to do is make sure you have announced that you are looking for an internship. If employers only spare a CV eight seconds of their attention, you can be certain that they’ll spend much less time on your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn’s pop-up profile summary feature also gives you the opportunity to capture any prospective employer’s attention, so give yourself a catchy headline. Fill the rest of your profile with keywords you have seen listed on vacancies you are interested in, but try to avoid generic, boring keywords.

Make connections
Sounds simple enough, but you’d be surprised how many people just stick to connecting with their friends. If you’re not interested in branching out and e-meeting people on LinkedIn, stick to Facebook. This is about networking; nobody talks to the person sat on their own in the corner of a party, don’t be that guy or girl. Get yourself out there; introduce yourself to someone when you connect with them and don’t hesitate to ask if they have any internship vacancies when you connect.

Join groups
Groups are a great place to find like-minded people on LinkedIn. Join your university’s group and be part of the conversation! It’s a great way to showcase your profile and put your opinion across on a variety of topics. Many groups also send out weekly messages to their members with the latest updates. If you’re looking for an internship and you receive the latest vacancies straight in your inbox, this will make your life even easier. Inspiring Interns run the internship group Interns and Internships in London – see you there!

Be social
I’ve mentioned this already, but network! Send messages and make use of the update facility. This is exactly like the Facebook status – broadcast to your connections that you are looking for an internship. Follow companies you might be interested in interning for – it’s a brilliant way to find out information about the company that often isn’t broadcast on the company website and could come in handy in the interview. It’s social experiment time – add me on LinkedIn, and include a message. Let’s be friends, and you never know, I might be able to help you find an internship…

Alex, or Towners as he is affectionately known, has been at Inspiring since December 2010. He enjoys sport, cinema, sharks and supports Arsenal. Alex occasionally blogs on and tweets @agtownley