How to Use Your College Alumni to Help Land a Job

Most colleges use social networks to stay informed and connect with each other – either via Facebook or LinkedIn or inCircle. In the San Francisco Bay Area, two local colleges use all of the above to connect with their alumni. St. Mary’s College and Santa Clara University use inCircle in addition to Facebook and LinkedIn. inCircle connects school alumni for networking, reconnecting and posting or browsing jobs.

Here’s what some savvy alums are doing to increase their chances that their resume will be seen by the hiring manager:

1. Find a job you are interested in that’s posted on a job board, LinkedIn, Craigslist or other local sites (see previous article on Where to find jobs in the SF Bay Area)

2. If your school uses inCircle or has a LinkedIn alumni group, search for alumni who work for the company.

3. Connect with the people who work there by inviting them to connect with you (both LinkedIn and iNCircle)

4. Once connected, let them know via email that you are interested in a position at their company and ask to meet for coffee to learn more about what it’s like to work there.

5. When you meet, and if they are agreeable, close by asking them if they would walk your cover letter and resume into the hiring manager’s office and let the hiring manager know that they are fellow alums and that the hiring manager should meet with you.

Most companies prefer to hire candidates recommended by their employees – in fact, many have incentive programs for employees who refer candidates. This is especially popular now as there are so many resumes coming in for posted jobs, having any kind of a warm referral is welcomed.

Give it a try – most alumni are more than willing to help another alum out – wouldn’t you?
By the way, you can see my columns on career coaching and transitions at SF Examiner.com.

JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. specializing in career transitions. He is also a career and financial coach, a freelance writer on career coaching with SF Examiner.com, and has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations.
JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jpmcdermott
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