5 Steps to Effective Alumni Networking in a Job Search
Best practices to help you make the most of these valuable opportunities to connect.
By Phil Rosenberg
Alumni can be some of your most valuable job search networking contacts, but only if you utilize them effectively.
Unfortunately, most candidates have the goal of an introduction ... and it's usually the wrong goal. When you pick an alumni networking goal that's achievable (one that is in the contact's power to deliver) and that delivers maximum impact to your job search, alumni can be a huge help to your efforts.
The strategy of alumni networking wasn't always so important. When there were candidate shortages prior to 2007, most companies had written or unwritten policies to give a guaranteed interview to anyone who came through a company employee from anywhere within the organization. Pre-2007, when so many employers had guaranteed interview policies, it didn't matter how you networked because volume of networking was more important — it was literally just a random numbers game.
Fast forward to today's job market, where "spray and pray" doesn't work. Today's effective alumni networking techniques are far more focused, with specific targets, goals and actions. When you learn how to leverage them in the right way, alumni networking contacts can represent tremendous inroads into employers.