Building relationships is one of the key skills needed to succeed in your career. Millions of professionals use LinkedIn to tap into their network to help uncover job prospects. But even if you have an up-to-date profile, post occasionally on Pulse, and have joined a couple of groups, you can still expand your networking reach by using LinkedIn’s free Alumni tool.
“What’s that?” you ask? Here’s how it works:
From your LinkedIn homepage, hover over “My Network”, then select, “Find Alumni.” Or you can navigate to LinkedIn.com/alumni. From there, you can search individuals who attended your school. And refine your search by using one of six filters:
- Where they live (geographic location)
- Where they work (company)
- What they do (job function)
- What they studied (major)
- What they’re skilled at (LinkedIn skills)
- How you are connected (1st and 2nd degree connections, group members, etc.)
If you are looking to connect with alumni, let’s say, in the Portland area, using the alumni tool, select ‘Portland’ area under the ‘Where they live’ filter and choose the correct skill under ‘What they do’ filter. The more targeted your search, the more relevant your results will be. From there, view the gallery of profiles and send a custom message to someone you are interested in connecting with. It should briefly explain who you are, mention your alma mater and describe why you wish to connect.
Have an upcoming interview? See if there are alumni at the organization who can help you learn more. Curious about a career in a specific industry? Seek an informational interview. There’s a lot of potential to expand your network and fellow alumni are typically willing to offer insights about potential fields and career paths.