LinkedIn Tip of the Week: Networking with Alumni!
As mentioned in previous blog posts, I am a HUGE fan of networking. I am a firm believer that creating personal relationships with potential employers or industry peers is an incredibly powerful way to go through the job search process. One way to start networking is through LinkedIn, specifically using the LinkedIn Alumni Tool . Below is a quick lesson on how to search for and connect with Alumni in your field of interest. Before you start connecting with alumni it is important that you have an updated and professional profile.
STEP 1: Go to the “CONTACTS” tab and click on “Fairfield University”.
STEP 2: The Alumni Graph appears & it allows you to search for Fairfield Alumni based on location, Industry, and Company. Be creative… What do you want to do? Are you interested in Marketing? Do you want to work for an advertising agency? Make the search all about your interests and you will be surprised to find that Fairfield has Alumni in nearly every career field.
STEP 3: Next step, choose a company or area that you are interested in & search. For example, we chose GE Capital & Finance and there were 29 people who met the criteria… Pretty impressive, huh?
STEP 4: Now that you have the 29 people that meet the criteria you set, take some time to look through them. You will find people in various roles and at different points of their career. You might also find someone that you share a common connection with which could be a starting part to a conversation with them. Once you find the right person and you are ready to connect – press “Connect”.
STEP 5: When you connect with them a generic message will come up (see below). DO NOT USE THAT… This is your opportunity to make contact with this person and you probably have never talked to them, making this your FIRST impression. You only get to make that first impression once, so we encourage you to craft a thoughtful note. For example:
Dear Mr. Lucas S.,
My name is Sally Vatingforajob and I am a Junior from Fairfield University. I identified your LinkedIn profile through the Alumni LinkedIn Tool and would like to connect with you. I see that you have had a long career at GE Capital, a company that I aspire to work for. If willing, I would love the opportunity to talk with you either in person or over the phone to learn more about your career and to gather your advice and insight.
Thank you and I look forward to connecting.
We don’t want you to start wildly connecting with Alumni, rather use this as a tool to SELECTIVELY connect with people in fields that you are interested in. I had a student connect with me from my alma mater regarding my past jobs and he was thoughtful, articulate, and professional – so guess what I did… HELPED HIM OUT. Ultimately this tool works, so I encourage you to play with it and become comfortable with searching for people in different careers.
Assistant Director, Career Planning Center