School Friend. These words evoke magical memories, don’t they? The bond somewhere in the corner of your heart.
Do you know that you can actually build your career with the help of your school alumni?
First of all, are you a part of your school alumni association? You aren’t? Become a member. Now! And when you receive invitations to school events, try to attend as many as possible. You will enjoy meeting people you have known since childhood and these would be ideal occasions to strengthen your bond with them. Have a good time, but also make time to discuss careers, the challenges you face; and take job advice.
But what if your school is in a far-off place? Not practically possible to keep visiting then, right? And what if you want to connect with a much wider alumni network, even people you don’t know? Well, you can connect with people virtually, using the professional networking site, LinkedIn. And you can do it without any awkwardness.
On LinkedIn, you can of course, easily look for people you knew in school, connect with them, exchange notes on career and give and take job advice. But what is even better is you can look up their connections and find alumni who may be hiring or who you think would be great mentors. Request your schoolmate for an introduction. You can also join your school alumni groups on the site. Once there, you can participate in profession-related discussions, scan job posts and look for members who you think can help you out.
Wish to know at a glance, work details of your fellow alumni? LinkedIn provides an impressive tool called, yes, ‘Alumni’. Just type in the name of your school and you will actually see a list of companies where fellow alumni work and their areas of work! So if you are looking for an accounting job, you can easily find alumni working in Accounting and connect with them. If you are looking to work in XYZ Company, you can connect with the alumni working there. There is also a Notables section that features well-known personalities from your school; some of them may be even willing to mentor a fellow alumnus like you.
Yes, far-fetched it may seem, but such a wonderful tool actually exists! Gives a whole new meaning to professional networking, don’t you think?
A word of caution though. Follow a few etiquettes: Don’t go out all aggressive trying to wangle information; don’t act as if you are desperate for a job; and never ever dash your resume to their inbox without properly introducing yourself. You don’t want to get the cold shoulder from fellow alumni, do you? These relationships take time. Build them slowly and steadily and you will find your career shaping the way you want it to.
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