5 Networking Tips For Apprentices

Written by Nicola Wylie

Networking can be an incredibly powerful tool for anyone starting out in their career. We’ll take you through our top networking tips for apprentices to help you boost your career from the get-go.

As the saying goes, “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.” While official qualifications and relevant work experience will always come out on top, building connections in your target field is also important. This is where networking comes in.


The Importance Of Networking

As an apprentice, networking allows you to build relationships with people in your industry. These relationships can be invaluable throughout your career, providing you with advice and mentorship when you need it. 

Networking is also an excellent opportunity to learn from professionals in their field of work. By attending industry events and meeting these professionals, you can gain insights and knowledge that may not be available to you through your apprenticeship alone.

On top of learning more about your specific industry, you’ll also be expanding your horizons by networking with a diverse group of people. This, in turn, can expose you to fresh ideas, perspectives, and ways of working.


5 Networking Tips for Apprentices

So, now that we know the importance of networking for apprentices, we’d like to share some of our best advice with you. By following these networking tips for apprentices, you’ll be in a better position to hit the ground running and stay one step ahead of the competition.

Tip #1 – Attend Networking Events

Our first networking tip for apprentices is to attend as many networking events as you can. These events provide an excellent opportunity to meet professionals in your field, learn about the industry, and build relationships. Keep an eye out for careers fairs and other events in your area that are relevant to your field or interests.

It’s always best to prepare for networking events in advance. A common mistake among younger apprentices is to turn up to a networking event unprepared. This means that you won’t feel confident approaching the other attendees and, therefore, won’t get the most out of the experience. Here are a few examples of how you can prepare in advance:

  • Research the event and attendees to find out who you’d like to connect with and what you would like to learn from them.
  • Prepare a brief introduction or elevator pitch. It should be clear and concise, highlighting your skills, interests, and goals.
  • Dress appropriately in order to make a good first impression.
  • Social networks like LinkedIn have QR codes that link directly to your profile, so have these ready to share with the people you meet. Although it’s not as common nowadays, it’s always a good idea to have some business cards ready to hand out too.


Tip #2 – Be Proactive

This tip applies to networking events but also to life in general. Don’t wait for people to come to you. As an apprentice, you have to be proactive and reach out to people you admire in your industry. It’s as easy as sending an email or LinkedIn message expressing your interest in their work and asking if they would be willing to chat with you. Remember to be respectful of their time and keep your message concise.

You may not get a reply from everyone, but it’s another great way of getting your name out there. It also shows prospective employers that you’re a self-starter and someone who takes the initiative. 


Tip #3 – Focus on Building Relationships

Networking is not just about making connections. It’s about building relationships, too. Take the time to get to know people and understand their interests and goals. Remember to listen carefully and ask thoughtful questions. By creating a list of the people you’d like to connect with in advance, you can really maximise your time with each of them. After all, it’s much better to build a strong connection with a few people than to create a poor connection with many.

Follow up with your new connections after the event and connect with them on LinkedIn. Mention them by name in your message, keep the conversations going, and continue to build relationships. This will help you build a network of valuable contacts who can support you throughout your career and vice versa.

Tip #4 – Make Good Use of Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool for networking when used correctly. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date at all times. It should include a professional headshot, a strong headline, and a summary that highlights your skills and accomplishments. After all, it’s an extension of your CV and should therefore reflect not only who you are but what you know. 

Follow people and companies in your field and try to engage with their content as much as possible. This goes beyond simply liking their posts. It’s important to share your own thoughts and insights in the comments so that others begin to recognise your name and associate it with the industry.

Tip #5 – Offer Value

The last of our networking tips for apprentices relates to value. A crucial part of the business world is the ability to offer value to others. So, when networking, think about how you can offer value. You may have a unique skill or perspective that can benefit someone else in your network. Or maybe you can introduce them to someone else who may be able to help them. 

By offering value to others, you can build stronger relationships and position yourself as a valuable member of your industry’s community.


Find Your Apprenticeship Today

Building a network of contacts as an apprentice is a surefire way of getting your career off to a great start. Not only does networking give you the opportunity to boost your career prospects, but it also lets you build strong relationships with people who can offer support and advice along the way.

The next step is to visit our dedicated apprenticeship jobs board, where you can find the latest apprenticeship opportunities in your area. 

We’ve got plenty of help and advice for apprentices, including dedicated guides on the different types of apprenticeships, reasons to start an apprenticeship, who can start an apprenticeship, and how to apply for an apprenticeship.

Feel free to contact our team if you have any questions. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter using the form below for all the latest from Employing an Apprentice.

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Last Updated: Wednesday February 15 2023
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