Networking is a must for any professional, regardless of career experience or industry. For most professionals, networking doesn’t come naturally, but rather can be a difficult and challenging activity.

To make networking a little easier, you should assess what “natural connections” you have with other people and institutions. These natural connections can be friendships, former co-workers, or institutions such as your college alma mater. Many colleges and universities today have established alumni associations. These associations can become a vital part of your network. So, how can you use your alumni network to land a new job?

Ways to Utilize Your Alumni Network for Professional Success

Attend Alumni Events

For many professionals, alumni events can be a great way to get started networking with other alumni. These events are usually social gatherings that are relatively low stress. People attend these events to mix and mingle, so it will be a room full of people actively looking to meet others and talk. This mixing and mingling can lead to new personal and business relationships, which may turn into future new jobs down the road.

Use LinkedIn to Make Connections

LinkedIn is an excellent tool to connect with alumni from your college or university. Many schools have active LinkedIn groups alumni can use to communicate with peers located all over the world. Using these groups can help you grow your network by ensuring when you reach out to unknown people, there is already a natural connection you share. For example, if you want to work for a specific company or inquire about a job posting, reaching out to an alumnus who already works for the organization can be a great way to get your foot in the door.

Connect With Mentors

When reviewing LinkedIn and social media, if you find a fellow alumnus who is more senior than you and holds a position you hope to have in the future, it may be a good idea to reach out. Many senior alumni are more than willing to speak with a junior alumnus who is just starting out or in the early part of their career. Many alumni associations even have formal mentor programs available that will make connections for you. An alumni mentor can not only provide you with career advice; they may be able to point you to jobs that are available within their network.

Planning for the Future

Networking is a vital activity for all professionals. To establish a network, it is a good idea to engage with people and organizations you have a natural connection with, such as your college alumni association. By utilizing an alumni association, you can attend events, gain LinkedIn connections, and seek mentors with whom you share a common thread.

If you are a professional looking to explore new opportunities, it is time to reach out to the experts. At New Era HR Solutions, we help job seekers find the right positions for their present and their future. Contact one of our top recruiters today to learn more!

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