Whether you’re a student, a recent graduate or are approaching your 20th college reunion, your alumni network can be an invaluable asset in your career decision-making or job hunting efforts. Alumni love to find ways to give back to the university that helped them succeed and therefore have a vested interest in helping you succeed.
Fellow alumni can give advice, make introductions, help you build new relationships and broaden your reach. If you aren’t tapping into this resource, you’re missing out! Use PrideStaff’s tips for maximizing the potential of your alumni network:
Attend recruiting and networking events. Still a student? Larger universities often host events where employers send alumni to come and speak during Career Week, and these companies are often biased in choosing entry-level employees from their alma mater. Make the most of opportunities like these to get your foot in the door – before you even graduate.
Leverage your university’s career or alumni center. Speak with counselors about your career goals and ask them to put you in touch with alums. You can use these connections to solicit advice and assistance in your job search, or even find a career mentor.
Search your college’s business directory. Your alma mater may have a website with an online directory that lists where many alumni are currently working. If it does, spend some time searching profiles to find people who have launched successful careers in your chosen field or work at one of your target companies. Develop a profile of your own and start connecting.
Target your efforts. While you may be tempted to send out bulk emails, resist the urge. You will be much more successful if you reach out to specific, targeted individuals. Use social media tools to research potential alumni connections, determining if an individual’s background and interests could be beneficial to your job search before reaching out.
Use LinkedIn’s Classmates feature. If you haven’t already, set up your LinkedIn profile and tap you’re your alumni network without having to contact your alma mater. The Classmates tool allows you to see where your contemporaries are working, track alumni career trends and join alumni groups (so you can connect with classmates who share your career interests).
One final note: Be proactive when developing your alumni network. Even if you’re gainfully employed, spend time establishing connections and solidifying friendships now, so that when the time comes, your requests for help will be better received.
Searching for your next career opportunity?
PrideStaff will help ensure that you just don’t search, but succeed. We provide a wide range of employment opportunities for entry-level graduates as well as experienced managers. Contact the PrideStaff office in your area to find out more about great local job opportunities.