For many people in the early stages of their career, it can be difficult to develop genuine relationships and get to know people working in the industry.

Networking is an extremely important stage of career development and in a small industry like the agri-food sector, it is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Making connections with people either in person at events or through online platforms such as LinkedIn and ‘X’ (previously Twitter) can be very beneficial for personal development and career progression.

Importance of networking

Getting to know other people in the industry can open doors to job opportunities, career advancement and business partnerships.

It can provide access to valuable career advice and guidance from experienced professionals already working in the field.

Networking helps establish relationships with professionals working in the same industry.

It is not just an important factor for people in the early stages of their careers but for working professionals at all stages. Interacting with a diverse range of individuals can contribute to your personal growth, broaden your perspective and give you fresh ideas.

Using LinkedIn can be a valuable tool to enhance your professional profile and help you stay up to date on developments in the industry.

Having an active presence can enhance your professional visibility to recruiters, employers and colleagues. It can also be used to showcase your skills, accomplishments and professional experiences.

Four tips for maximising your LinkedIn profile

1 Create a strong first impression: it is important to have a recent and professional profile picture on your LinkedIn account. First impressions are important.

2 Network with the right people: make connections with people you know in the industry first. If you speak to someone at an event, it is a good idea to connect with them a few days later.

3 Post about your accomplishments: if you have attended an event, launched a new project or accomplished something for work why not write a post? This is a great way of updating your network on what you are doing in your current role.

4 Engagement: if you see posts come up on your feed from other colleagues or people you know, engage with them through the like and comment tool. This will help you receive more interaction on your posts and allow you to make new connections.

Michelle Egan, Shinrone, Co Offaly, Kitty O' Brien, Crookstown, Co Cork, Amy Dunphy, Glencar, Co Kerry, Clodagh Sherman, Galmoy, Co Kilkenny, Hannah Dinan, Clarecastle, Co Clare, Orla O' Donovan, Timoleague, Co Cork and Fiona Beamish, Dunmanway Co Cork walk across the Quad for the first time as they celebrate being part of the first students to graduate with a bachelor of science in agriculture degree from UCC. \ Donal O'Leary

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