Let Your Next Employer Find You!

I read an interesting article this week on Human Resource Executive Online from Wharton’s very own Peter Capelli.  It pointed out that the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco found in a recent study that the “majority of hires never report looking for a new job”. In othe words, instead of proactively researching and applying for specific positions, most individuals who took new jobs were “found” by their new employers without the candidate proactively seeking them out. To put it another way, individuals were “poached” from their employers and enticed to start work with new organizations.  Of course, current students who are not already in the labor force will need to continue to be proactive about looking and applying for jobs and internships, but this is a good lesson that in addition to being proactively appying for jobs there are many more passive ways that you can demonstrate what you have to offer to potential employers.  Here are just three ways to more “passively” build your network in the hopes that your next employer will find you!

  • Make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated and professional. Recruiters are increasingly using LinkedIn to find great candadates for jobs and it is an excellent way to showcase your qualifications. Even if an employer inititally discovers you from a resume you submitted for a specific position, they are still likely to view your LinkedIn profile for additional details.  Find out more about using Linkedin in your job search by waching this webinar which was co-sponsored by Penn Alumni Relations and Career Services. You can also find additional resources and a link to join the University of Pennsylvania Alumni LinkedIn Group here.  (And, yes, current students can join this group!)
  • Get out there!  Make an effort to meet people working in fields of interest to you. Not only will you learn more about prospective career fields, but you will also grow your network, so that when a job opening occurs someone might think of you before actually posting the job to the world at large. Attend speaker programs on campus (and stick around to talk to the speakers afterwards if you are able), join student groups to meet individuals with like-minded career interests, or join a professional association (which often offer very discounted rates to current students).
  • Be active on social media.  Follow organizations on Twitter that interest you and contribute to conversations online so that people get to know who you are. Of course, make sure your contributions are thoughtful and well crafted to ensure a strong impression.  LinkedIn groups can be another great way to keep abreast on what is happening in your field of interest.
  • Connect with Penn alumni. The Penn network is an amazing resource to connect with individuals working in areas of interest to you. Use the QuakerNet directory (myquakernet.com) or LinkedIn to connect with them.

Who Are You?

J. Michael DeAngelis, Information Resources Manager

My favorite band of all time, bar none, is The Who.  I’ve been lucky enough to have seen them live in concert nine times and I’ve already got the tenth one scheduled – the final night of their 50th anniversary tour, which concludes here in Philadelphia in November.

50 years.  That’s a long time to be a rock star.  No, let’s be honest, that’s a long time to be ANYTHING.  Can you see yourself doing the same work for fifty years?  Forty? Twenty?  I’ve worked at Penn for ten years (almost eleven), but even in that amount of time, I’ve had five different positions across two different offices.  Pete and Rodger must really love what they do.

How do you find out what you would love to do for fifty years or more? Career Services offers a few ways to begin this exploration through online self-assessments.  We offer the following services free or at a discounted rate for current students and alumni:

SIGI 3 – SIGI 3® is a comprehensive, free career exploration tool that prompts you to discover your skills, interests, and values and matches the resulting profile to career options.  SIGI3 also provides in-depth and up-to-date career information.  (Free)

Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) – The Myers Briggs Type Indicator is now available through Career Services. This inventory is designed to assess the preferences linked to your personality.

The MBTI is often taken in conjunction with the Strong Interest Inventory – The Strong Interest Inventory is now available through Career Services. This inventory is designed to assess interests and preferred work styles and relate them to a variety of career fields and occupations.

($15 for one test, $30 for both for current students, $25/$50 for current post-docs and alumni)

StrengthsQuest – StrengthsQuest is an assessment that tracks your top ten five talent themes as a means toward helping you to discover your strengths. The instrument will also provide guidance on how to apply your strengths to your academics, career planning and leadership development. ($9.99)

Talentoday – Talentoday will allow you to easily assess your core soft skills and motivations, and immediately discover what job profiles fit your personality best. The resource is completely free and is now available for all students and alumni. Take a 11-minute online self-assessment and discover your unique qualities and job possibilities. (Free)

All of these resources and others can be found on our Career Inventories page

Each of these tools can help you answer “who are you?” and maybe with the knowledge you gain about yourself, in fifty years time you’ll still be rocking out like The Who.

Your Lego resume

Dr. Joseph Barber

I find Lego to be completely addictive. It doesn’t matter what I end up building so long as the process involves converting a pile of loose bricks into some sort of sprawling structure (that generally has a trapdoor – you always need a trapdoor). Sure, I tell my daughters that I am helping them build a house for their pipe-cleaner cats, but really I would be happy just building something even if they were off tormenting each other in the other room. My Lego addiction may be blog-worthy in a career advice sort of way for a couple of reasons. First off, it says something about my own personality type, and it helps me to understand what I might look for in any work environment. I enjoy working with my hands. I am always on the look-out for opportunities to cut, tie, or tape things. This isn’t actually that helpful in my day-to-day work life since I don’t work in a preschool (which might be fun were it not for all the snotty children), although my colleagues at Career Services have been on the receiving end of several items that have resulted from extensive cutting, tying, and taping of things together. However, hands-on doesn’t just mean actually using my hands to build things, it is also a way of approaching more intangible concepts. I enjoy developing new workshops, online materials, program series, and resources. In this respect, being hands-on is part of my creativity…, or the other way around…, it doesn’t really matter. What is common about building a Lego house for a pipe-cleaner cat and developing a new workshop is that both approaches require having an ultimate goal in mind, something that you are aiming to achieve, but in both cases there is a need to be flexible and adaptable to integrate new ideas and approaches to be successful along the way. I know what I want the Lego house to have (doors, windows, and a trapdoor, of course), and what it should generally look like, but I have to adapt to the bricks that I actually have and the changing demands of my “clients” (“no…, catty needs a bed that turns into a car with wings”). So, think about what you enjoy doing the most at work or home, and then think about why. After this, you can think about where you might find other types of work environments, positions, or organizations that will give you the opportunity to contribute to their goals by using your preferred skills. If you need help with figuring out who you are, and what it is you do well, and don’t have ready access to 1600+ Lego blocks, then consider taking some of the self-assessments you can find on the Career Services website here: www.vpul.upenn.edu/careerservices/selfassessment.php. These are a great way to start off any career exploration or job search process.

But what is a Lego resume? Well, the other reason that Lego provides a good talking point for the job seeker is that the process of writing a resume is actually quite similar to the process of building a Lego structure that doesn’t have any instructions for a client who knows what they want but doesn’t always describe it in a clear and logical fashion (in my case a 3 or 5 year old; in your cases, a somewhat generic job description). For my daughters, I know what they need, know what they have played with successfully in the past, and I know what type of structure will keep breaking apart in an irritating fashion causing unnecessary strife. I might use the same bricks each time, but the final structure is always a little different. When it comes to resumes, your different skills and experiences are Lego bricks. You have a giant box of them. Your goal is to create a narrative that ties your different experiences together in a way that results in a recognizable structure that make sense to the reader (who is an employer hoping to use your skills and knowledge in a way that benefits them and their organization). But you can’t just pour the bricks on the table and let other people try to piece you together. Who knows what they will create if left to their own devices. You want to control the messaging, and you want to make sure that the product they see is what they are hoping to see (so, the more research you do into your career field of choice, the easier it is know what they are looking for). If one of your bricks represents leadership, you have to connect it together with other bricks in a way that illustrates leadership in action resulting in an outcome. You can’t just say you are a good leader, you have to show it. A single brink won’t demonstrate leadership, but a collection of bricks put together in a thoughtful way with a clear focus on what the leadership skill helped you to achieve would be great. And don’t forget, you need a different version of your resume for every application you make. It doesn’t have to be completely different, though. You could attach the same bricks in a slightly different way and have a different type of resume – one tailored to the end user (the employer). You could swap out one brick with one of a different colour. It could be the same skill, but demonstrated in a different setting – one that is more applicable to certain types of employers. Small changes to your resume can make a big difference to the reader, because they want to know that your resume was written for them, and that you are aware of the skills, knowledge, and experiences that they value.

If you are looking for some inspiration when it comes to creating your Lego resume masterpiece, then set up an appointment to meet with a Career Services advisor. We are happy to help you identify which of your experiences makes the best type of impression for different employers when it comes to demonstrating your skills. Bring some actual Lego, and you might also walk away with a house fit for a pipe-cleaner king…, a king who likes trapdoors and beds that turn into cars with wings!

Making a New City Feel Like Home

Tiffany Franklin, Associate Director

How to prepareThis time of year new graduates and students are moving all across the country and world to start new jobs, internships, graduate school, fellowships, and research positions. While this is an exciting time, it can be stressful and taking a little time to strategize can make a big difference in your experience. This topic is close to my heart since I’ve lived in a number of cities (Nashville, New Orleans, Atlanta, Jacksonville, FL, and Philadelphia) and have made big moves for both school and work. Here are a few things I learned that helped me make my new cities feel like home.

Preparing for the Move

There are a host of resources for you to read in the weeks leading up to your move to learn about your new city and all that it has to offer.

  • Going Global – Includes a listing of cities in the US along with the country guides. Be sure to log-in via

http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/careerservices/library/ using your PennKey to access the site. Resources include a city overview, cost of living guide, networking resources, and a list of top companies.

  • Chamber of Commerce sites – Check out the chamber of commerce for your new city for resources and a list of local attractions.
  • Local Newspapers online
  • City Search website
  • City Scene or other magazine with listing of concerts, art exhibits, restaurants, etc.
  • Local magazine – Philadelphia magazine for example
  • Facebook/Twitter
  • Alumni/Current Penn students from that city – Search QuakerNet, LinkedIn (Connections – Find Alumni sub tab) and the Penn Internship Network to find students and alumni in your new city.
  • Penn Alumni Chapters



  • Local Universities – Many med, law and business schools compile comprehensive guides for their incoming students that include a list of apartments, real estate agents, things to do, and info about the neighborhoods near the university. These can often be found with some creative Googling and are very helpful when deciding where to live.
  • Referrals – Utilize your Penn network and connect with other Quakers who are living or have lived in your new city. Get their perspective on safe places to live, commute times, cultural amenities, and other factors that can shape your living experience.
  • Research – Check out websites that offer rating for apartments (such as ApartmentRatings.com) and you can search by area crime rates as well.

First Weekend – Now what?

new beginningsIt may seem daunting that first weekend in a new city when you don’t know many people, but look at it like you did freshman year and stay open to meeting people. Strike up a conversation with someone at the coffee shop or next to you in yoga class. Try a new interest through classes or meetup groups (cooking, art, exercise, professional groups). Visit local parks and look into activities like sports leagues or volunteer opportunities with a cause that is close to your heart. Before long, you will have a whole new social circle and many things to fill your free time.

Colleagues or Friends?

Always remember to be professional in your internship or new job. You may start with a group of people, so you will have some built in work contacts. If not, offer to take a colleague to lunch or coffee. If you have finished your assignments, offer to help someone. Listen and be genuinely interested in people.

Give it some Time

Acclimating to a new city is both an exciting and sometimes scary process. It may take you a few weeks or months to get into a new routine, but it will happen. Keep in mind that your social calendar requires more planning in the beginning. It’s okay to do some things on your own and be sure to diversify your group of friends, so you are not counting on one person to be your social life. If you feel a little lonely in the beginning, remember your friends and family are just a text, call, Skype, or email away.

Enjoy the Adventure

Moving can be an amazing adventure and can provide you with a number of stories. If you are not loving your new city, keep in mind it doesn’t have to be permanent and you can move again. But first, give it a year and your new city may turn into your new home. Have fun making friends and embracing the new experiences.


Career Services’ Summer Reading List

Summer is finally here! Break out the flip flops and the sunscreen. With the summer also comes the time to get in some leisure reading. As such, I wanted to share a list of books from some career experts. The list below will help you define your career goals, feel confident networking, and get you to the next stage of your career. Enjoy these books, and don’t forget to check in with us for help along the way!

mingleDon’t let your wallflower ways keep you from getting what you want. The Art of Mingling offers great tips on how to work any room. Your network is your net worth regardless of your target industry or academic pursuits. This book will help you! We also host panel and networking events throughout the semester so stay on top of our calendar of events.




Want to know theate key to success? According to Ferrazzi and Raz it is networking. Learning how to cultivate relationships is an important part of life. Never Eat Alone teaches readers how to make connections using their handy outlines and strategies. The important thing to remember is that it isn’t just about getting what you want; it’s also about making sure those who are important to you also get what they want.





parachuteWhat Color Is Your Parachute? 2012: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers is the go to guide for job searching. What Color is Your Parchute? Bolles gives advice on a variety of topics from how to use social media tools for your advantage to updated tips on networking, interviewing, salary negotiations and even entrepreneurialism. The best part is this is not specific to one industry everyone can take advantage of the advice here. Of course, we are here all summer for walk-in hours and an appointment to discuss your parachute color preferences, and other important career-related topics.


crucial convosThis book outlines important conversations you may have throughout your life and walks you through how to navigate them. Through this book you learn the fine line between being persuasive vs. abrasive in different situations.






highly effectiveIn The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, service, and human dignity–principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.




college to career

Getting from College to Career by Career Expert and Global Spokesperson for LinkedIn, Lindsey Pollak, is an insightful, essential world guide for college students and recent graduates who are preparing to embark upon a career beyond the university walls. Now newly revised to reflect the most recent changes in the economy and job market, these “90 things to do before you join the real world” will give every young grad a head start, providing essential information for adapting to and succeeding in a marketplace that is now more competitive than ever.



lean in gradExpanded and updated exclusively for graduates just entering the workforce, this  edition of Lean In includes a letter to graduates from Sheryl Sandberg and six additional chapters from experts offering advice on finding and getting the most out of a first job; resume writing; best interviewing practices; negotiating your salary; listening to your inner voice; owning who you are; and leaning in for millennial men.




These books are just a start. Career Services is here to support you throughout the summer. We encourage you to make a Skype of phone appointment if you are away from Philadelphia. We hope you are enjoying the break from school, and finding time to relax before the fall semester!