Friday, November 30, 2012

How to Network Professionally Online

You’ve heard it a million times (so it wouldn’t hurt to hear it again): “Success is not just about what you know; it’s about who you know.” With LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional online network, the “who” is at your fingertips. Follow these easy steps to get connected now—and to turn those connections into opportunities.

1. 100% complete = 100% more likely to get noticed

You can’t build connections if people don’t know you exist or see what you have to offer. Your LinkedIn profile is your online business card, your resume, and your letters of rec all in one. Don’t be shy: users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn.

2. You’re more experienced than you think

Complete profiles are so important because the more information you provide, the more people will find reasons to connect with you. Think really broadly about all the experience you have, including summer jobs, unpaid internships, volunteer work, and student organizations. You never know what might catch someone’s eye.

3. Use your inbox

Contrary to popular belief, networking doesn’t mean reaching out to strangers. The best networks begin with those you know and trust, and then grow based on personal referrals. Start building your LinkedIn network by uploading your online address book and connecting to friends, relatives, internship colleagues, and professionals you know in the “real world.”

4. Get personal

As you build your connections on LinkedIn, always customize your connection requests with a friendly note and, if necessary, a reminder of where you met or what organization you have in common. If you’re being referred by a mutual friend, write a brief intro of who you are and why you’d like to connect. You’ll impress people with your personal touch.

5. Join the “in” crowd

Another way to form new online relationships is to join LinkedIn Groups. Start with your university group—alums love to connect with students—and then find volunteer organizations or professional associations you already belong to. As a member, you can comment on discussions, find exclusive job listings, and meet people who share common interests.

6. Lend a (virtual) hand

As you build connections and group memberships, think about what you can do to support other people. Comment on a classmate’s status update, forward a job listing that fits the criteria of a friend, or write a recommendation for a summer job colleague. You’ll find that your generosity is always rewarded (and, of course, it feels really good to help someone!).

7. Update your status early and often

Networking is not just about who you know; it’s about who knows you. Stay on other people’s radar screens by updating your LinkedIn status at least once a week—you can do this directly on LinkedIn or by linking your Twitter account and marking tweets with in. Mention events you’re attending, projects you’ve completed, and other professional news.

8. Question (and answer) everything

LinkedIn’s Answers feature is a great place to seek advice from a wide variety of people all around the world. You can also show the world what you have to offer by answering people’s questions about a topic where you have some expertise. The more active you are in Answers, the more people will view your profile and want to connect with you.

9. Do your homework

Before an informational interview, a job interview, or a networking get-together, use LinkedIn to learn about the background and interests of the people you’re scheduled to meet. Access Company Pages to research organizations and their employees, and use Advanced Search to find things you have in common with people you’re meeting.

10. Now step away from the computer...

There’s a perception that young people are only comfortable communicating online, so be sure to support your online networking with real human contact. Set up phone calls, attend live events, and send snail mail notes to people you interact with on LinkedIn. Remember that online methods should supplement, not replace, in-person relationship-building.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

How to Build a Professional LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is a social networking website for anyone looking to establish professional relationships. Founded in December 2002 and launched on May 5, 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. As of June 2012, LinkedIn reports more than 175 million registered users in more than 200 countries and territories.

Think of your LinkedIn profile as an interactive business card. It’s a summary of your professional experience, interests,and capabilities that is designed to attract the attention of important people who are searching for you online — recruiters, networking contacts, and grad school admissions officers. A strong profile is a key differentiator in the job market. So let’s get started...

1. Craft an informative profile headline

Your profile headline gives people a short, memorable way to understand who you are in a professional context. Think of the headline as the slogan for your professional brand, such as “Student, National University” or “Recent honors grad seeking marketing position.” Check out the profiles of students and recent alums you admire for ideas and inspiration.

2. Display an appropriate photo

Remember that LinkedIn is not Facebook or MySpace. If you choose to post a photograph — and we recommend that you do — select a professional, high-quality headshot of you alone. Party photos, cartoon avatars, and cute pics of your puppy don’t fit in the professional environment of LinkedIn.

3. Show off your education

Be sure to include information about all institutions you’ve attended. Include your major and minor if you have one, as well as highlights of your activities. It’s also appropriate to include study abroad programs and summer institutes. Don’t be shy — your LinkedIn profile is an appropriate place to show off your strong GPA and any honors or awards you’ve won.

4. Develop a professional summary statement

Your summary statement should resemble the first few paragraphs of your best-written cover letter — concise and confident about your goals and qualifications. Remember to include relevant internships, volunteer work, and extra curriculars. Present your summary statement in short blocks of text for easy reading. Bullet points are great, too.

5. Fill your “Specialties” section with keywords

“Specialties” is the place to include key words and phrases that a recruiter or hiring manager might type into a search engine to find a person like you. The best place to find relevant keywords is in the job listings that appeal to you and the LinkedIn profiles of people who currently hold the kinds of positions you want.

6. Update your status weekly

A great way to stay on other people’s radar screens and enhance your professional image is to update your status at least once a week. Tell people about events you’re attending, major projects you’ve completed, professional books you’re reading, or any other news that you would tell someone at a networking reception or on a quick catch-up phone call.

7. Show your connectedness with LinkedIn Group badges

Joining Groups and displaying the group badges on your profile are the perfect ways to fill out the professionalism of your profile and show your desire to connect to people with whom you have something in common. Most students start by joining their university’s LinkedIn group as well as the larger industry groups related to the career they want to pursue.

8. Collect diverse recommendations

Nothing builds credibility like third-party endorsements. The most impressive LinkedIn profiles have at least one recommendation associated with each position a person has held. Think about soliciting recommendations from professors, internship coordinators and colleagues, employers, and professional mentors.

9. Claim your unique LinkedIn URL

To increase the professional results that appear when people type your name into a search engine, set your LinkedIn profile to “public” and claim a unique URL for your profile (for example: This also makes it easier to include your LinkedIn URL in your email signature, which is a great way to demonstrate your professionalism.

10. Share your work

A final way to enhance your LinkedIn profile is to add examples of your writing, design work, or other accomplishments by displaying URLs or adding LinkedIn Applications. By including URLs, you can direct people to your website, blog, or Twitter feed. Through Applications, you can share a PowerPoint or store a downloadable version of your resume.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Looking for other resources to enhance your career search? Check out these sites below, organized by category!

Please note, while online third party job recruiting sites can be very helpful, use these resources with care. Do not utilize sites that do not protect your privacy or circulate information without user permission.

Research Industries of Interest


Science and Engineering

Consulting, Finance and Business

Additional Job and Internship Resources

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Networking Tips


• Prepare to arrive 15 minutes early to any networking event. This can be done successfully by finding directions to the event ahead of time.

• Prepare your outfit the night before and make sure that it is appropriate for the type of event you are attending.

• Prepare to bring plenty of information about yourself. Bring several copies of your resume, business cards (if applicable) and any other information that may be helpful to have on hand.

• Prepare your elevator pitch.

• Prepare questions and talking points. If you know which companies and representatives are attending the event, view their website for job opportunities and current events. An educated approach to any conversation helps you to stand out among the rest.


• Present your elevator pitch when introducing yourself to people at the event. Remember that nonverbal communication is just as important as verbal- you want to make a great first impression.

• Present your resume and/or business cards to potential employers.

• Present yourself as confident and poised. You want to create strong, memorable relationships with each person you meet. If this means you need to step away from the crowd once in awhile, do it! Unwind and recharge.

• Present a firm handshake and great eye contact at the end of each meeting. Always ask for a business card so you can further enhance your networking relationship.

Plan for What's Next

• Plan to write pertinent information on the back of each business card you collect. This way, you will remember specific information from each conversation and be able to refer back to this during future correspondence.

• Plan to write thank you e-mails to any contacts to whom you wish to further your networking relationship.

• Plan to follow-up on any job leads you may have encountered by applying with a resume and cover letter that specifically address the conversation you had with the employer.

• Plan to do this again! Attending a networking event is not a single endeavor. It is a skill that is learned over time and becomes very natural as you gain more experience. Pretty soon, you could be the employer that students are trying to network with!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Get Promoted or at Least... Give it a Good Shot

Do a Good Job. How you perform in your current position is going to be important when you're considered for a promotion. Excellent performance reviews and your reputation as an above-average employee will carry a lot of weight when the company is making staffing decisions.

Be a Team Player. Volunteer to help with new projects in the office. Volunteer for committees or task forces. Offer to help your boss and co-workers whenever time permits. You'll be known as a team player and an individual that colleagues want to work with.

Don't Miss Work. Be on time for work and don't take more time off than you are allocated. If you're known as a sloucher and someone who misses more work than is appropriate, it will be held against you.

Continue Your Education. If your company offers opportunities for professional development classes take advantage of as many as you can. If your skills need updating or advancing take continuing education or college classes. This way, your technical skills will be top level.

Network. Attend company parties and gatherings. The more connected and engaged you are with your colleagues, the more they will know about you and the more you'll stand out when it comes time to consider you for promotion. Managers are more likely to promote an employee they know well than a random applicant they don't know much about.

Follow the Application Process. Don't presume you're going to get the job. The company may be considering external candidates as well as other employees for the job. Also don't presume that the hiring manager or department manager reviewing your qualifications will know your background. Take the time to update your resume and to write a targeted cover letter for the job you are interested in. Follow the application process, if there is a formal procedure for applying for internal job postings.

Discuss With Your Boss. Be sure to let your boss know that you are interviewing for a new position. You'll want him or her on your team, because your references will be checked. Do offer to help with the transition if you're selected for promotion.

Get References. Ask your supervisor and other managers you've worked with for a letter of recommendation. References, especially from high level staff, carry a lot of weight.

Monday, November 12, 2012

General Douglas MacArthur (January 26, 1880 – April 5, 1964)

"Duty, Honor, Country" — those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

If you are a veteran, find a job through the Veteran's Job Bank

The Veterans Job Bank powered by provides Veterans with a central source for identifying Veteran-committed employment opportunities and assists America’s employers in identifying qualified Veterans. A key part of the White House’s ongoing commitment to improve access to employment opportunities for transitioning Service Members and Veterans, it facilitates access to hundreds of thousands of private-sector job openings specifically targeted at Veterans.

The Veterans Job Bank returns job opportunities based on search criteria entered by the user. Powered by a Google search, jobs are drawn from various job boards that have posted or specifically tagged jobs for Veterans.

Begin your job search by visiting the Veterans Job Bank powered by the NRD.

Adding Your Jobs to the Veterans Job Bank

If you are an employer wishing to hire Veterans and add your job listings to the Veterans Job Bank, please visit our Instructions for Employer Participation page.

Veterans Job Bank Widget

In support of this initiative, the Veterans Job Bank Widget was created, which allows access to the Veterans Job Bank directly from other websites. An easy to implement feature that any individual or organization can use, the Veterans Job Bank Widget allows Veterans to quickly and easily conduct a targeted job search without ever leaving the website they are on.

To make things even easier, the Veterans Job Bank Widget requires no maintenance. As jobs are added to the Veterans Job Bank, the widget automatically updates.

A highlight of the tool’s job search function is a military occupational code (MOC) translator that converts the user’s military experience into related civilian job skills – which can then be used to match specific skills or jobs. In addition, users can search by keyword and location.

You can get the Veterans Job Bank Widget for your website by visiting the Job Search Widget page.