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Leveraging Your Alumni Network to Get Your Next Research Job

Posted January 9th, 2020

Many professionals have heard that their alumni network can be a powerful weapon in their job search arsenal. However, not everyone understands what they need to do to leverage that connection. Luckily, it isn’t as challenging as it may appear on the surface. If you want to make the most of your alumni network so you can land your next research job, here’s what you need to know.

Start Before You Need It

Ideally, you want to start connecting with your alumni network before you actually need their job-hunting help. It takes time to cultivate the kind of relationships it takes to make requesting their assistance appropriate. If you wait until you are desperate for a research job and start talking about your job search immediately, you might rub people the wrong way.

Plus, by forging these connections now, you might not have to ask for their assistance. Many people are willing to share details about an opportunity with members of their network they feel might be a good match even if they haven’t explicitly asked for job search help.

Look for an Alumni Database

Some schools maintain alumni databases that all former students can use. If you aren’t sure whether your college has one, contact your alumni center and ask. Often, getting access is a simple process.

In the database, you may be able to search for alumni that now work in your field or share your major. If contact details are available, you can use that information to reach out.

Get Involved

If you are still a student or live near a local alumni association chapter, getting involved can make a big difference. By attending events, volunteering with the organization, and otherwise being active with the group, you are forging valuable connections. Strike up conversations with other participants to expand your network. You may meet someone who has similar professional interests, or that can help you take a step forward in your career.

Try Social Media

When you want to reach out to other alumni, social media platforms are a great starting point. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can be valuable resources, particularly since you can search for individuals who attended your social and find alumni groups.

Once you find a contact that could be valuable, reach out. You have your school in common, so there’s a built-in icebreaker. Next, introduce yourself and try to nurture that connection. Then, as you establish a rapport, set up an in-person meeting, if possible.

The goal should be to expand your network and craft strong relationships, not just talk about your job search. Once you have a bond, requesting their guidance or assistance won’t seem out of line. In contrast, if you move too fast, there’s a chance they won’t be inclined to lend a hand.

Ready for a New Job? Contact Bayside Solutions!

Your alumni network can be an excellent resource. By using the tips above, you can leverage it effectively. If you’d like to learn more, the team at Bayside Solutions can help. Contact us to speak with one of our staff members today and see how our networking expertise can benefit you.

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