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Utilizing Your Alumni Network for Career Advancement

On most college campuses, there is a career services facility that can be used as a resource by students to help find jobs and internships. But what do you do if you are a job seeker who has already graduated and doesn’t live a short walk away from this on-campus resource? Luckily, after you’ve graduated you can still take advantage of your college resources to help further your career.

Here are 3 ways to get started:

Contact career services

You don’t have to be a current student to take full advantage of your career services center. Different institutions have varying guidelines as to what level of service they can provide to their alumni, so contacting them by phone may be the quickest way to see how they can help you. Setting up a time to speak with a consultant about your specific need for their services can help you get a good start. Just be sure to ask direct questions such as:

  • Do you know of any alumni in my field of interest? Can you help me get in contact with them?
  • How does my resume look from an employer stand point?
  • Can you critique my performance in a mock interview?

Make connections through LinkedIn

LinkedIn can also prove to be an excellent resource to turn to when looking to connect with alumni. For example, the site makes it easy to search for and connect with alums that have been (or are currently employed) in your industry or profession. To get the most out of this search feature, make sure you’re sending every alumnus you hope to connect with a personalized invitation that explains who you are and how you share a college affiliation.

In addition to searching for fellow alums, take advantage of the LinkedIn groups feature. To do this, conduct a quick search for any type of alumni group that would be relevant to you. Whether it be a campus group or academic affiliation that you were a part of, LinkedIn groups not only allow you to publicize that you are looking for career opportunities, but can also give you access to fellow alumnus proactively looking to hire. Just remember, if someone does offer to help, it’s important to let them know that you will reciprocate if needed.

Attending alumni events

Focus on attending relevant alumni events near you in addition to on campus events such as homecoming or a class reunion. These events can be great ways to network for career opportunities because they are usually attended by alumni of varying professional experience. Bring your business cards and speak with everyone you can, even if they’re not in your desired professional field.

Your web of alumni connections is there not only for the purpose of rekindling old memories but for helping you with your career as well. Making that mutual connection with someone that is a part of your former institution could be the first step to jumpstarting your job hunt or making a career change. Who wouldn’t want to help a fellow alum?

 

 

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