Research from Jobvite found that “Employees hired through referral are hired 55% faster than those who come from a career site.”
If you are frustrated searching job boards, sending resumes into black holes, and not getting responses from prospective employees, what I call “The Alumni Networking Solution” will help you.
I have personally used The Alumni Networking Solution to find leads and get interviews that lead to job offers.
The Alumni Networking Solution is a 5-step networking tool designed to introduce yourself to college alumni and develop relationships that lead to referrals. This means actually getting to know the person- and asking for his or her advice, instead of a job like everyone else. I used these five simple steps – in about 10 minutes per connection – to find a job in the worst job market in the last eighty years.
This is one of my favorite networking tips for college students!
Below are just two of the many responses I received from my original LinkedIn message.
Make sure you have your resume and LinkedIn profile updated. Those are the two major career materials your alumni are going to want to see before they agree to help you. The top three issues you want to avoid are:
If you need further guidance, read these networking event tips.
Alumni are always willing to lend a helping because you have a lot in common: you stayed in the same dorms, had the same professors, and drank at the same local bar. Most importantly they remember how hard it was to get their career started.
An email confirmation will be sent to you confirming your membership to the group; once you receive that message you will be ready to network!
An engaging cover letter is your first – and perhaps only – first impression! For consistency and simplicity reasons, consider customizing the message below:
Subject: Hello! A quick question from fellow alumni
I graduated from in with a degree in . I see that you work in and was wondering if you would be willing chat on the phone, at your convenience of course.
As I am seeking an entry level opportunity at a dynamic organization, I would love to hear more about what you do and any insights or advice you might have on breaking into the industry.
Your help would be extremely appreciated!
Thank you in advance for your time,
Important: the purpose of this letter is NOT to ask for a job. “Hi! It’s nice to meet you. Want to hire me?” is not effective networking. Be discrete. Be patient!
After carefully customizing, send you pitch email to members in your alumni group who are working in an industry of interest to you.
It’s important to be flexible and consider reaching out to alumni who work for companies you would like to work at. Even if they don’t work in the same field that you are looking to get into they will probably know someone at the company they can introduce you to.
As replies begin to roll in, set up phone meetings, Skype calls and face-to-face meetings. These informational interviews will enable you to connect with the alumni – and allow you to demonstrate your passion to an influencer in your industry of choice.
Through the relationships you develop, you should soon start receiving leads for open positions… many of which aren’t even advertised!
Remember that networking IS NOT asking someone for a job. Networking is about building your professional network that could lead to referrals.
I want to hear your success stories! Please email me your results or leave a comment below using what I call The Alumni Networking Solution. John(at)EndlessJobOffers(.) com.
About the Author: John Muscarello is the founder of EndlessJobOffers.com a website that teaches professionals 25 and up how to build relationships with top performers, get jobs, and take their career to the next level. Download his free guide “Four Free Tools You Can Use To Connect With Top Performers.”