Why is LinkedIn your best friend?

As I began my apprenticeship, I started to learn about the importance of networking. Building your network was key to develop in the role I was situated in, where I relied on working with other teams to complete deliverables. Equally, starting to work in any industry it is important to build your network of like minded individuals whom you can learn from in great depth. With saying this, this is why LinkedIn can be your best friend. 

For those who do not know what LinkedIn is, it is a professional social media platform where people from all different professions and levels from entry to senior management can be apart of the platform. It is a space for people to build their network with like minded individuals sitting in industries they are interested in. 

Firstly, LinkedIn is great to build your network. Whether you're a student or working in a job, it allows you to connect with people who work in a similar industry to you or an area you have an interest in. You're able to view peoples profiles that are working in a certain industry and see a rough idea of where they studied and how they entered the role they sit in. I got a lot of inspiration from this, and began to understand the route that I would have to take into my career by comparing different peoples profiles (that I knew) who worked in finance. I messaged a few individuals I knew through others about this, and they provided brilliant advice and clarity on where I wanted to go. In addition, how the algorithm works is, when anyone interacts with a post and you are connected to them, this comes up on your feed. It means you are in the loop with current affairs they're interested in, and if you are selective with your connections, this can isolate areas of the app that would captivate you more. 

Working in finance, I tend to follow important companies related to my role such as Bloomberg, Investment Banks, Accounting firms and many other corporations. This is one of the benefits of LinkedIn, you can keep up to date with companies you're interested in, understand any big developments they are publicising and keep up to date on any market movements that could be occurring. It is a great way to stay in the loop with developments in all different industries. For example if you're interested in politics, there are lobbying groups, ministers and political parties all of which post regularly and keep their followers updated with fast moving changes that can occur. I see this as a narrowed channel of news which is great as it hones in the areas you truly are interested in! This is particularly helpful when applying for apprenticeships. This platform will allow you to become in tune with the industry you're applying for and prepare you for questions surrounding current affairs relating to your role which often arise in applications and interviews for apprenticeships.

Additionally, when beginning my apprenticeship I connected with as many people who where in surrounding teams, it gave a talking point for when I saw them in the office and it gave myself further visibility to my peers. More often then not, they will view your profile and look at your credentials, and it means they feel they know you more about your career so far. In saying this, I recommend to keep your LinkedIn page clear and concise, only put necessary information and do not over divulge into roles or jobs. Having a short description of your role, where you work and your education credentials is perfect to begin with. Also, if you have done any volunteering or participate in activities this is great to add in to show other sides to your life. Remember, this is still a social media platform, and I would recommend to be as cautious as you would under any other social media. 

Finally, it is a great app to find open roles. Whether that be full time jobs or school leaver apprenticeships, many companies advertise their open roles on LinkedIn. They provide in depth job descriptions, rough deliverables that are expected, entry requirements and links to apply straight from the app. It is a superb way to search for apprenticeships that you are interested in and another site to find new opportunities for yourself!

Overall, LinkedIn can be such as useful tool to build your network up; alongside becoming more informed with industry knowledge. It's great to stay in tune with leading industry professionals but also connect with people who work in similar roles to you or a profession you are looking to enter. I always recommend to set this up as I think it gives a great insight into the industry you're interested in and creates more specified visibility on current affairs surrounding a persons particular interests.

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