How to Effectively Leverage Your Alumni Networks

When searching for a new job, many job seekers often overlook some of their most valuable resources and contacts – their alumni networks. The ability to leverage your alumni networks is an excellent way to build and maintain relationships, expand your job search reach, and receive great career track insights and leads to industry resources. It’s also important to know how to maximize the effectiveness of the opportunities that alumni networking afford.


Best Practices to Use When Networking With Alumni


  1. Stay current with what’s going on at your alma mater: Sign up for newsletters and announcements and make sure you read them or at the very least scan them. Keep track of what’s happening with other alumni and their careers. Send congratulatory notes to those who have received promotions and those who are participating in worthy causes.
  2. Join the local alumni chapter of your alumni association: Regularly attend and volunteer at events to personally connect with a large number of alumni. Follow-up with those you meet and start to build a relationship.
  3. Connect with fellow alumni on social media platforms: Use social networking to help you leverage alumni networks by connecting with them on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Join your alumni groups as well. Conduct research on those you connect with on LinkedIn and use the information to reach out to the ones who have similar interests to you and schedule face-to-face meetings with them. If you get the opportunity to meet with them, do not spend too much time talking about yourself, have specific questions that you are seeking the answers to.
  4. Tap into your alumni career center: An alumni career center is a valuable resource because you can learn of jobs posted by other alumni, and counselors can put you in touch with other alumni. The career center usually has a directory/database that lists where many of the alumni are currently working, and you can tap into that.
  5. Ask for information: Although your fellow alumni may not be able to assist you to get a job or an interview, what they can provide you with is valuable inside information and insights on the industry and companies that you are interested in. They may also be able to inform you of available jobs that have not been posted yet.
  6. Build bridges: The alumni you have in your networks may not be the ones who are in your target company, but they may be able to introduce you to the right person in the company that you are targeting.
  7. Get an introduction to hiring managers: This should not be your primary objective, invest the time to build and nurture your relationships with fellow alumni. Cement the relationship first before asking for an introduction to hiring managers.


Effectively leveraging your alumni networks is a great way to form valuable relationships as well as discover new employment opportunities. It should be a part of your job search strategy.


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