Ever wondered what graduates of your degree go on to do?
Or perhaps you know the sort of job you’re interested in and want to know how others got there, or the types of employers you should be looking at?
In this post I outline two useful features of LinkedIn™ that can help you explore these questions, namely LinkedIn Alumni, and Fields of Study.
How LinkedIn™ alumni could help you
There are all sorts of ways in which the alumni feature of LinkedIn™ could help you. I’ve outlined a few key ones below:
Browse profiles to find out the range of things graduates of your programme – or the university as a whole – go on to do.
2. Explore career paths
See how people have got into their current roles; what they’ve done and where they’ve worked before. This could help you identify organisations which may have opportunities in your sectors of interest.
3. Identify people who might be able – and willing – to help you
You may find someone doing your dream job or working at your dream organisation. You could try contacting them to ask for advice on getting into that field or work with that organisation. People are generally willing to help – particularly when you have a shared connection such as attending the same university. If you are contacting people, I’d suggest trying an informational interview initially. Check out our short guide for doing this effectively.
Accessing the LinkedIn™ alumni tool
You’ll find this under the ‘Connections’ tab on the main menu bar on any page in LinkedIn™
Alternatively you can access it directly at www.linkedin.com/alumni
Results default to your most recent place of sudy, so in your case, this will probably be the University of Leeds
Here you can see there are currently over 100,000 alumni from the University of Leeds on LinkedIn™ (although this figure will include current students too).
You have the option of filtering the results by various criteria. This includes searching by keyword (1), for example a particular subject, employer, job title (or anything else), by when they attended (2), or by where they live, work or what they do (3). Note the little ‘>’ circled, this gives you further filtering options including what they studied and their skills.
If you want to see what graduates of other universities do, you can do so by clicking ‘Change School’ and typing in whichever institution is of interest. This might be particularly useful if you’re considering further study and want to compare the destinations of graduates of programmes at different universities (bearing in mind that not everyone is on LinkedIn™!)
What to get a bigger picture?
As noted above, you can see results for other institutions by using ‘Change School’ in the alumni tool. But what about if you want to look at graduates of all universities at once? LinkedIn have recently added a feature to do this, called ‘Fields of study’ which works in a similar way to the alumni tool.
Access it from the ‘Education’ option under ‘Interests’
Select ‘See fields of study’ NB: If you select ‘See your school’ at this point it will take you to the alumni tool
Results (with a health-warning!)
Results default to the subject of the first entry in the Education section of your profile. This isn’t necessarily the most relevant. For example, my default results, as you can see below, are for ‘International/ Global studies’. This default is based on the fact that the first thing in my education section is the International Baccalaureate that I did at college, so is a bit of a mismatch in my case.
However, you can change these by clicking ‘Explore more’ tab and then either selecting the relevant subject from the drop-down list, or typing it in the ‘browse by name’ field (as highlighted below)
- Results will include people who have the searched-for subject anywhere in their education section, not necessarily just their degree subject. i.e. I would appear in results for International/ Global studies as well as for Psychology
- As with the alumni tool, there is a little ‘more’ arrow on the right hand side of the results page – this is useful! It allows you to filter results further (e.g. by location)
- Again, as with alumni tool, you can search within the results using any word/s to further narrow down your results. This could be an employer, skills, interests, or anything else
More support with LinkedIn
- LinkedIn™ produces some really useful quick tips sheets and other advice for students and graduates
- We run various LinkedIn Labs during term time. Check our events database to book
- We produced a series of screen-casts on using LinkedIn™ effectively, available on our YouTube channel. Updated versions will be available soon
- Our blog post, “So you’ve joined LinkedIn, now what” also has some more tips
- See “The best way to network with alumni on LinkedIn” on the LinkedIn™ official blog.
Remember, the Leeds Network is a fantastic resource to help you identify and contact Leeds Alumni. Managed by the university, it can connect you to 100s of Alumni who are interested in sharing their tips and advice with current students.
You might also want to take a look at the “Graduate Destinations” information on our website.