Friday, October 19, 2012

Leverage SigEp's network for your professional career

From this month's "Sound Bite" - SigEp's monthly source of undergraduate news.

Leverage SigEp's network for your professional career:

By Bryce Giesler, Tennessee ’82, and Beaux Carriere, Charleston ’10, Volunteer Services Director
With over 230,000 living brothers, SigEp has one of the strongest and most reliable networks to leverage as an undergraduate. “If you are hiring, and you have two equally qualified candidates, knowing one is a SigEp can make the decision easy because you know the values are there,”Dennis Kaps, Ohio State ‘03, a recruiting manager at Abercrombie & Fitch’s corporate headquarters said. And one of the best places to begin your network is on LinkedIn.
Similar to Facebook and other social media sites, LinkedIn allows users to develop a profile and make connections with other users.  LinkedIn’s focus is on professional networking. A member’s profile is his online resume, and the site enables users to make professional contacts and expand their network. SigEp brothers work in virtually every major corporation in the United States. At least 175 of these corporations employ more than 10 SigEps, many of whom are in senior leadership roles. 
A search for SigEps on LinkedIn will produce more than 55,193 professional profiles listing membership in our Fraternity. Of these, over 14,000 have discovered the power of connecting through the Sigma Phi Epsilon (Official) LinkedIn group. If you aren’t in the group yet, you may want to sign up. To begin leveraging your SigEp network, promoting metro networking events, or connecting with brothers in your field, join the conversation at Sigma Phi Epsilon (Official).

Richard Podos, NYU ‘85, is CEO and President of Lance Capital, a commercial real estate and finance firm based in New York City. Podos is an active user of LinkedIn and leverages the platform in the same manner as corporate recruiters like Kaps. Here are his five best tips for using LinkedIn.
  1. Fill out the whole profile. Consider it a resume on overdrive. Include a picture of yourself, SigEp roles and accomplishments, and other interests.
  2. Connect with everyone you know. Start with SigEp connections, and include all professional contacts.
  3. Join as many groups and subgroups as possible. The more connections that you have, including those you have by virtue of being in a group, the more information you can see and the more you will be seen by other LinkedIn users.
  4. Join the conversation. Post relevant comments in existing group discussions or start new discussions. This creates more opportunities for you to make strong, professional connections.
  5. Learn to use advanced search. With it, you can search for SigEps in specific companies, industries, and metro areas.
Knowing how to use LinkedIn pays off. At the end of his first year at Columbia Law School, Matt Villar, NYU ’11, competed with law students across the country for prestigious summer associate positions. Looking for mentorship in the process, Villar leveraged the SigEp LinkedIn community. He started by attending a networking breakfast for SigEp lawyers in New York. Villar also emailed 10 SigEp attorneys where he would be interviewing and seven replied with advice. Four mentored and prepped him for the interview process. He received multiple offers and will be a 2013 summer associate at Latham & Watkins in New York City. Villar finished his first year with honors and was recognized as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.