Using a college alumni network is one of the best ways to stay connected with fellow graduates and potentially land a job. Alumni networks help former students from a college, fraternity/sorority, club, or region gain information on each graduate’s career, residence, and contact information. Alumni can make contacts in a field, ask for career information or job search advice, or get help starting a new career path.
Follow these steps to connect with alumni in your desired field, establish relationships, and potentially land a job.
Contact the Alumni Affairs Office
Reach out to your college’s Alumni Affairs office to ask about a database of alumni. Share that you’d like to connect with them for information and advice about your career or job search. You should be able to search for contacts by geographic area and career field. To find alumni working in a particular city, check whether your college has regional alumni chapters. These groups often have informal mixers where alumni can meet in a casual setting. Or, ask professors to introduce you to their former students.
Connect Through Social Media
Engage with alumni on social media. Join LinkedIn Groups for your college. If your school has an official page, search for alumni by industry, region, employer, or other filters. InMail alumni about your interest in their field. Ask to set up an informational meeting or phone consultation. Go through your Facebook connections to see whom you went to college with and works in the industry you desire. Post a status saying which field you’re exploring career options in and asking to speak with anyone who can provide additional insight. Ask to be introduced to contacts for an informational consultation.
Set Up Informational Consultations
Schedule informational meetings with alumni. Let each connection know you would like to learn more about building a career in their field. Focus your initial conversation on finding out more about the person, their company, and the industry. This may include which social media accounts they follow for industry news, if their company does a lot of hiring at a certain time of year, or how they decided to pursue the career they did. Be ready to ask questions about how to go about pursuing your own professional path in the industry.
Periodically reach out after each initial meeting with alumni. Stay engaged in their professional developments. Provide updates on your career progress. If a job within the person’s company opens up, ask your contact for help getting your resume to the right person.
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