3 Steps to Networking with your Alumni Community

Posted by Jenessa Mann on Dec 17, 2018 10:38:47 AM

Finding a job can be hard. As a recent college graduate, I combed through LinkedIn postings and online searches without much luck. At times it felt overwhelming and almost pointless because I was unable to successfully utilize the No. 1 way to find a job - networking.

Since then, I've learned a strong three step job search process:

  1. Create a list of job contacts

  2. Research the contacts

  3. Reach out with confidence

Let's break it down.

Use Wavelength and other networks to make a list of contacts.

Tools like Wavelength have search bars similar to Google's. You can create comprehensive and personalized searches to find exactly the person you are looking for.

For example, if you want to be a lawyer in San Francisco, you might try searching “lawyers near San Francisco.” Intuitively, lawyers, clerks, and other people in the law profession show up.

Other tools like LinkedIn will rely on filters to weed out your connections. Either works.

The point is to get a list of people relevant to your job-search. If you are too specific, you may not get enough results. You may need to broaden your search geographically to find connections. Not to worry. These initial connections are just starting points. Most alumni will help point you in the right direction if they aren't the best person to reach.

Once you have a list of people, use their alumni data to research.

Create a spreadsheet. Include fields like name, location, industry, job title, and email address. Add a section on notes. Do you have any interesting interests in common? Any communities or mutual friends? These intangibles will be a great ice-breaker when you finally reach out to them.

Start filling out this information. Tools like Wavelength help your community use alumni data so you have one place to better understand your members.

Learn about their past and current work experience, look at their social profile links, and determine who the best points of contact would be. You can craft personalized and knowledgeable messages when you reach out to them.

After you've made a list and done some additional research, reach out to the most compelling people.

When you use tools like Wavelength, you know you both share a community and that they are interested in being a resource. Reach out with confidence. Craft your messages to the individual and feel free to reference your common network. 

Keep in mind that even if the person you contact may not be hiring, they may know of another company that is. Ask them if they know anyone they could connect you with to further progress your job search.

Alumni will engage with you when you you highlight your commonalities and personalize your message. 

Finding a job can be hard but tools like Wavelength makes it easier. While LinkedIn is a networking platform, it felt forced and awkward for me to reach out to people that LinkedIn recommended - people I had no connections with. Tools like Wavelength simplify the networking process and provide strong connections so that I have the confidence to reach out and land that job.

A Blog on Data and Networks in Modern Alumni Communities

Wavelength's blog covers a host of data and networking topics in alumni relations. Some key topics include:

  • How do alumni actually network?
  • How to offer tools that benefit everyone
  • How to use data to improve your alumni strategy
Posts published every other week.

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