The Power of Networking – Four Things You Can Do Today!

A recent article likened people’s reaction networking to that of speaking Voldemort’s name out loud.  While networking may not give you magical powers, it is an important aspect of your job search that is often overlooked or avoided by job seekers.  Connecting and speaking with new people can be intimidating for some and exhilarating for others.  Why is networking so important?  Is it really “who you know, and not what you know” that matters?  Here are some tips on getting started in connecting with others that will further your career search as you progress through your time at Penn and beyond.

Create and update your LinkedIn profile

Social media is a big part of how people connect, and having an up-to-date LinkedIn profile is important for job seekers.  Follow these useful tips on how to create a solid profile in this advice from LinkedIn.  “How to Create A Killer LinkedIn Profile That Will Get You Noticed.”  Once your profile has been created, check out these resources from Career Services on how to connect with others and to join the Penn alumni LinkedIn group.  LinkedIn has recently launched a new app aimed at students as well.

Connect with alumni through QuakerNet

Penn has thousands of alumni living and working throughout the world.  QuakerNet is a database of alumni from all degree programs and schools and these alumni are anxious to connect with you.  It is a great tool to use when identifying contacts for informational interviewing, learning about living in a new city, or gaining advice from those currently working in your field of interest.  Click here to check out our tips for informational interviewing.

Get out of your bubble and meet new people

So many students find themselves staying with the same social networks and sticking with their academic department.  A great way to start expanding your network is by joining campus and community groups. You never know who you might meet that might be able to help you professionally in the future!

Student Groups at Penn
Graduate Student Groups at Penn

Meet with faculty

Take advantage of being on campus and having access to so many interesting and accomplished faculty.  Visit them during their office hours; feel free to connect with faculty who aren’t currently teaching you but who do work that interests you.  Faculty love to chat with students about their work.  Don’t be afraid to ask them to connect you with alumni or other faculty who they think would be valuable contacts.

Career Services has some excellent tools to help students and alumni at all career levels identify networking opportunities and make connections that can have a real impact on their job search.  Make an appointment with a career advisor to talk in more detail about how networking can help you!