Continuing our series on #LinkedInSUccess stories, Megan Lucas ’13, shares how she leveraged LinkedIn in her job search!
I graduated Syracuse University College of Arts and Sciences in May 2013, and like everyone else, was very worried about finding a fun full-time job that would potentially turn into a career. I studied international relations, Spanish, and economics as my undergraduate work, and was very reliant on the Maxwell Career Services and LinkedIn. I went to a few networking events in Syracuse and DC before graduating and right after graduation, but relied a lot on online applications and portals.
Beginning in June 2013, I was working an unpaid internship at the Center of Hemispheric Defense Studies at National Defense University. I enjoyed the work and networking opportunities, but knew that I was “burnt out” in doing research for academic institutions, as well as working for non-profits. I wanted to join the private sector, and geared my job search that way. I stumbled upon a job opening at The Advisory Board Company via LinkedIn, and applied. After my first failed interview at Advisory Board, I noticed a few more job positions and decided to apply and subsequently prepare myself better for the interview. I researched the positions as well as the company, and physically wrote down pages of answers to common interview questions, as well as notes detailing my strengths, weaknesses, and how those character traits contributed directly to the position and the firm.
During this process, LinkedIn was invaluable. I was able to research the company, other positions, as well as other Syracuse alumni on the network. I noticed a particular alum had graduated from SU one year before me with the same major (international relations), and asked for a “LinkedIn Introduction” via Kim Brown, one of our many connections in common. We messaged on LinkedIn, exchanging phone numbers, and had an informal phone call shortly after. Not only was I able to feel out more about the company and its inner workings, I used our shared history and career desires to apply to my personal fit and career trajectory. During my next set of interviews, I mentioned the previous voluntary outreach anecdote, and wholeheartedly believe that it was this fact that showed I was able and willing to take all necessary steps for the company and role; to “go the extra mile” (which is ironically one of the company’s cultural values).
The bottom line: getting a job is not only about personality, work ethic, and work history. It is not just showing skills and answering all the interview questions with confidence (never arrogance). Yes, you must be able to read, write, think, comprehend, react, and do simple math and logical deductions in your mind. But a lot of the time, getting the job comes down to fit: not only should you be a well-tailored fit for the company, but the company should be a well-tailored fit for you. LinkedIn is one of the websites that expedites this process; I believe to find a well-suited position, you need to utilize all the tools that LinkedIn provides.
Good luck, Megan and thank you for sharing your story! Stay tuned for more #LinkedInSUccess stories!