Yesterday was a rare commodity on Penn’s campus – a snow day! The excitement of receiving the text message that you now have received the gift of an unexpected day off never gets old, does it? So while you may be eagerly planning a day of sleeping in, bingeing on Netflix, and maybe a little fun in the snow, here are five equally exciting career-related tasks you could work on during your next unexpected day off!
1.Update Your LinkedIn Profile
When I meet with students and ask them if they have a LinkedIn profile, almost all answer affirmatively. But with a little questioning, it is often revealed that they haven’t worked on it in awhile and could use some updating. If you are on the job market, you have to assume that anyone who might be interested in speaking with you will look you up on LinkedIn. As a job candidate, you want a potential employer or networking contact to see the most complete picture of you possible. Check out your profile and make sure it is the most accurate and up-to-date version of you that you want them to see.
2. Review Your Career Interests in Handshake
As a job seeker, you have hopefully already fully activated your Handshake account and filled out your profile completely. But as time goes on, your interests, experiences and job or internship goals may shift. Perhaps the last time you updated your interests you were looking for an internship, and now you’re looking for a full-time job. Maybe you have gained exposure to new industries and have narrowed your career interests. Make sure to revisit your Handshake profile to make sure you are receiving the Career Mail newsletters that interest you most, and that your profile is complete and up-to-date for viewing by employers.
3. Check Out Upcoming Events on Handshake
New employer and Career Services events are added almost daily! Log into Handshake and click on “Events” at the top of the page. Click on the star icon for events of interest to be reminded of upcoming events which may be helpful in your job or internship search.
4. Organize Your Networking Contacts
Hopefully you have spent the last few months collecting networking contacts (and if you have not yet started, it is never too late to start!) You may be collecting contact information from alumni, career fair contacts, or people family and friends have recommended to you. Maybe you have a stack of business cards sitting on your desk just waiting to be organized. In the long run, you will find it much more helpful to have all of your networking contacts organized in one place. You can organize them into an excel spreadsheet, or use one of the many networking apps out there.
5. Catch Up on the News of the Day
Take a few minutes to read some of the national and international headlining news stories. While much time is spent during interviews discussing your qualifications and interest in the position on the table, many employers will be interested to hear about your thoughts on other topics. Keeping abreast at what issues are being covered in local and national newspapers will not only make you a more interesting candidate, but you might learn something, too.
Now go out and enjoy the snow!