I often speak about how important referrals are to finding your next career opportunity. Corporate recruiters LOVE to hire from referrals and what better method than to find an alum in your industry, reach out and connect with them? You have something in common to chat about and most alumni want to help folks as they make career transitions.
Step 1: JOIN your college alumni group on LI. This is a moderated group and you will have to be approved to join (they want to make sure you're not faking your diploma).
Step 2: Go to the search bar in LinkedIn, and select SCHOOLS. Type in University of Colorado (my university) and request to be added to the group.
Step 3: Once approved, you can now search! Go to search bar on LI and select SCHOOLS again. Now you will see a headcount of how many professionals on LI graduated from Univ of Colorado/Boulder (my alum). OVER 189,000 alumni in the US and abroad! Almost 12,000 are on LI, how do you narrow that down?
Step 4: Select location and/or do a keyword search such as "electrical engineer". That narrows the search to 572 contacts which you can tweak further by adding more keywords i.e. "medical devices"
Step 5: Reach out and CONNECT with them. Personalize your short LI email to them and be sure to mention you're an alum which will increase your response rate. New York City is large enough to have their very own Univ of Colorado alumni group, wow!
Step 6: Research on www.meetup.com to find alumni groups in your backyard. This is an even more effective way to network in person and engage other professionals to make them aware of your talents.
Large investments were made for your college degree so engage with your alumni, leverage your network and you will be amazed at the results!