Summary: Network with your college alumni before you even graduate from college to get a head start on the job market.
You are in the midst of your senior year of college and the notion that graduation is not far off may be making you think about your future a little harder. Trying to find a job can feel like an endless hunt unless you have some guidance to lead you in the right direction. The next problem that comes up is determining where to find that guidance. Luckily you have the college alumni at your disposal to network with. Look for any events that your school offers with alumni to start the networking process.
Here are five easy steps to get you started networking with your alumni:
- Get your career materials up-to-date. This means you need to update not only your resume but your LinkedIn and other professional profiles. Professionals in your alumni network want and need to see your current information so they can give you the most relevant tips. (See The Best Ways to Attract Recruiters with Your LinkedIn Profile for more information.)
- Join the alumni group on LinkedIn. The alumni on this group will want to reminisce with you over dorm rooms, professors, and favorite drinking spots. Once a friendly conversation is started, they will be more willing to dish out advice for your career.
- Write an introduction letter that will give a great first impression to any alumni you are reaching out to. You are not asking for a job but are asking for referrals for any openings they may know of.
- Send out the letter to those in your alumni group that are a part of the same industry you are trying to get into.
- Arrange informational interviews in the form of phone calls, Skype meetings, or face-to-face interactions. These interviews allow you to connect with the alumni and show your passion for the industry. Don’t forget to write those thank you notes!
Photo: snipview.comCollege Alumni Make for a Great Networking Group by Amanda Griffin