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.