We are very lucky to live in the society we do, working and studying an industry that is built on leisure and wants. Yes, events can change the world, help people, build communities that make a difference BUT the industry was originally a development from the popularity of the leisure and hospitality industry.
Last week I had a moment of frustration with how we use social media and the internet. An existential crisis of modern communication tools! This happens from time-to-time because we’re the generation that’s been bought up on the internet. We do everything online & obviously that can become overwhelming!
However there are obviously many pro’s to being able to connect with people across the global at a click of the button. We’ve gone from needing to connect with people face-to-face to building strong relationships online, meaning networking can be done on the go, at home, in the office – anywhere with an internet connection.
One tool that is indispensable for building connections is LinkedIn; a business-oriented social networking platform.
Or as many students/graduates refer to it – an online CV.
You might only be in your first year at university, with 2/3 years of studying ahead of you & maybe the idea of having a ‘professional’ profile won’t seem important BUT it should be.
It doesn’t matter if you experience is only in a part-time retail job or from a small volunteer role, LinkedIn is about building and retaining your list of connections & being able to stay in contact with people you have met and worked with.
The difference with other social networking sites is that LinkedIn is geared to only connecting with people who you know or have previously worked with. It is a business tool that can be invaluable both personally, in remember who you met at an event, and professionally by gaining new clients.
One of my previous jobs they used LinkedIn to find connections for a new business venture, it allowed them to sign up a large client because they had previously worked with someone who was now in a senior member of staff within that organisation. The crazy thing was they hadn’t worked together in 8 years, but because of LinkedIn they were able to reconnect.
You are going to meet so many people throughout your time at university including other students who will become peers and colleges in the future, and whilst it may not be important now these connections could lead to so many opportunities when you enter the industry.
LinkedIn is like an online address book that keeps everyone in the loop on where you’re working & what you’re doing. It’s also a fantastically easy way to update your CV & even more nowadays – companies are preferring to see online profiles of your work.
There are a few key points that you should remember when using LinkedIn;
- Use a professional picture – nothing of you on a night out or with other people in the picture.
- Update regularly – If you have done some experience, or are working at a new job then update your profile.
- Participate – join relevant groups, engage and participate in conversations. #EventStudents even has its own group!
- & finally remember this is a profile used by professionals!
Have you used LinkedIn whilst at University? Has it made it easier to retain connections & communicate with people?
Also I want to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU because of you this blog is now shortlisted in the 2015 National Blog Awards. That’s right, we are through to the final 10 for the Best Individual Events Blog – which is the one I won back in April! Although there is a very slim chance that we will win again, the fact we made it through to the shortlist is really fantastic & I owe that to you, the wonderful reader! THANKS A BILLION!