The fall semester is a good time to reflect on next steps in your job and internship searches. Career Services is here to assist you with navigating the process. One of the most commonly asked questions from students is “How do I learn more about a particular field/company/speak with people who work there?”. LinkedIn has become one of the most effective and efficient resources to facilitate introductions, create connections, and learn about employers, industries, and job opportunities. Using LinkedIn as an information tool is an important aspect of your career exploration and job search. It serves a variety of purposes such as: branding yourself/skills, researching employers, as well as connecting with people who can share their insight on topics and career fields and answer your questions. LinkedIn also provides a convenient and efficient way to network. Networking is divided into two parts. First, it can be viewed as an opportunity to gather information and second, it allows you to share information about yourself in order to achieve your career goals. October is an excellent time to familiarize yourself with LinkedIn and start to establish some connections. Some key aspects to remember when using LinkedIn:
- When using LinkedIn, be sure to join the University of Pennsylvania Alumni Group. You’re eligible to be a part of this community while both a student and after you have graduated.
- Remember that your profile is your brand. Therefore, you want to ensure it’s a professional looking photo (e.g. not from a social/party setting). The summary section on your profile is a narrative that describes your academic and professional background.
- Linkedin enables you to learn about employers that interest you. You can elect to follow employers within the newsfeed in addition to identifying potential connections at that company who could share with you their advice and insight into their experience, culture and mission of the company, and the hiring process/recruiting process.
- Connections may be defined as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree. The category next to a person’s name indicates how you might know the person and who you may mutually be connected to. This is very useful to know since you could then potentially reach out to a mutual connection and ask for an “e-introduction” with the alumnus/alumna. In the message, you could ask for a 15-20 minute conversation to ask the alum about his/her role, experience at the company and advice he/she may have for you as you move forward with your job search.
- We can help you with using LinkedIn as a networking tool so feel free to come in for an advising appointment at Career Services. Appointments can be made by calling 215-898-7531 or through Handshake.