Like most, I found that throughout my time at university the name ‘LinkedIn’ was mentioned more times than I care to remember. There were even extracurricular classes offered to help students create or perfect their accounts. However, it wasn’t until my third year and after graduating that I realised the importance of this social network, which has been emphasised during week 5’s engagement activities.
LinkedIn provided us with a network to seek out and ‘connect’ with key stakeholder for our challenge, something that would have taken a lot more work pre-LinkedIn era. This, combined with my personal experience of LinkedIn got me thinking about the importance of connections and networking…
I speak from experience when I say that RELATIONSHIPS MATTER when it comes to getting a job. As all of Academy 6 have learnt the hard way, it’s incredibly difficult to make yourself stand out from the masses of other fully qualified university graduates when applying for jobs, which is where LinkedIn becomes so useful.
Not only does the app provide you with a vast selection of jobs ‘tailored to you’, which may point out opportunities that you didn’t even know existed, it also gives you the chance to build up a network of industry professionals that you may know personally or have had a previous working relationship with. You may just find that having connections in common could land you a job with your dream company, through positive references and associations.
Also, having a shiny professional LinkedIn account filled with supporting endorsements can score you serious brownie points when the company you have just applied for a job with Googles your name, and believe me they will, this is 2017. So as long as you keep your account up to date, positive and professional, there is a serious likelihood that LinkedIn will go in your favour whilst you’re on the hunt for a fresh out of uni first job or your next career move.
Taking all of this into consideration, next time you find yourself shrugging off suggestions to get a LinkedIn account or to use the app to further your career, stop and remember all the things that the network has going for it, and you… There is a reason why it has 500 million members in over 200 countries. And then, maybe that hour-long LinkedIn extracurricular won’t sound like such a bad idea…
With special thanks to programme funders European Social Fund and Skills Funding Agency.