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Networking in the 21st Century

May 15, 2018 by Susan Surgener

Networking in the 21st Century

Recent data indicates social media usage in Australia is ragingly high; which might suggest that people who live here are brilliant networkers. On the other hand, it could just demonstrate that, because of our relative isolation, we love to chat to people all over the planet about cats, dogs and the lack of a Game of Thrones episode in 2018!

And our social platform of choice? Well, despite recent bad press, Facebook and its Messenger app are still the most popular way that Australians connect virtually.

While the way that we use Facebook is constantly changing, its primary purpose is somewhat dominated by communications to our informal networks. So what about our formal networks and use of sites like LinkedIn?

As an active social network platform, LinkedIn usage sits at 18% in Australia. This seems a little underused given that it can serve a great purpose and help extend your professional networks. Used cleverly, LinkedIn lets you get more engaged with stuff connected to your studies or chosen career – all without getting out of your pyjamas.

If you are studying, working part-time, playing sport, engaging with your community, or juggling a family and study, then you might not have a whole lot of time or energy to attend formal networking events – which makes LinkedIn even more useful.

Why network online?
If you are time poor or perhaps think you might be a little too introverted for formal networking, you certainly wouldn’t be alone.

There are other ways to engage and, in the online space, LinkedIn is probably still one of the best platforms out there. It’s a tool where you can be comfortable actually being there ‘in the room’, while making the right chat with the right people.

Don’t have a LinkedIn account? Employers and recruiters are likely to check to see if you have, so it’s a no-brainer to get on board when you get a chance.

If you don’t know how to get started, check out UniHub for upcoming workshops that will run you through the basics of LinkedIn. As a bonus, we can help you out with a free professional profile photograph. Our Graduate Gateway series will also cover making the most of LinkedIn.

Your LinkedIn profile is not set and forget. You’ll need to keep up with how LinkedIn is being used to help you put your best face on and develop the right kind of contacts to add to your formal network – leaving you free to spend more time chatting with your informal ones… about dogs and cats and Game of Thrones.

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