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November 28, 2023, by aayjr12

How to use LinkedIn to your advantage as a politics student

By Josie Ruffles, politics student.

You may have been asked the question, ‘What will you do with that degree?’ or thought to yourself, ‘Where does this lead to?’. Politics and American Studies, or any degree related to politics or humanities, helps you develop skills that can take you into any industry.

I took the degree with the intent to go into something in the public policy sector, but where did I begin to look for jobs and how can I go about reaching my career goals in politics? The answer is LinkedIn.

If you know how to use LinkedIn to your advantage, you’re already a step ahead, but I will be focussing on how to use LinkedIn specifically for politics or public sector jobs.

Where to start?

The way I always like to start is by typing in something broad such as ‘Politics graduate roles’. You will always see a wide range of roles usually provided by government agencies, this is your stepping stone. You want to then click on roles that look of interest and read their role requirements/expectations and gauge whether that sounds compatible. I then make my searches more specific, for example, ‘Policy Advisor Graduate roles in London’, this way I can specifically see roles relating to a small part of the industry I am interested in within a specific radius/area.

Which companies recruit for positions in politics and roles related to current affairs?

LinkedIn is incredibly useful to find small and medium enterprises in the politics or public sector industry, but they’re sometimes harder to find than the general departments in Westminster.

Here are a list of companies that actively recruit for jobs in this speciality:

  • The Borgen Project
  • Tony Blair Institute for Global Change
  • Ditchley Foundation
  • The IWI: International Women’s Initiative
  • Kivu International Foundation
  • Nesta

Which companies should I follow for good guidance or to gain greater knowledge of the industry?

  • UK Civil Service
  • UNDP
  • Human Rights Watch
  • British Council
  • Amnesty International UK
  • VOX
  • The Female Lead

What if those roles aren’t attainable with my experience? What experience should I look at gaining in the meantime that are attainable?

I then begin to look at profiles of those people who are already in those roles to see how they were able to get to where they are now. For example, I was really interested in an NGO and wanted to enquire about graduate jobs, so I went to see who worked there and what experience they had done. Most had done volunteer experience at a university. For example, being part of a society such as Amnesty International, which helped them develop essential skills for graduate jobs. I then not only joined those societies, I reached out to those people to see what other advice they had and any other experience available through them or their company.

What next?

Once you begin volunteering or gaining experience at smaller organisations, make sure to keep in mind the skills that those dream roles wanted, so you can soon apply and acquire them. Keep your LinkedIn updated as it will become your digital CV, and continuously check to see what else those employers want or what others who have been successful in gaining those roles, have been up to.

For additional information on LinkedIn and developing your online presence, please visit the Careers and Employability Service website.

Posted in Applying For Jobs