Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How to Leverage your Alumni Network to get a Job

Over the last several years it’s become obvious that the road to a dream job has shifted significantly. The job boards that replaced the job classifieds in print newspapers are now being replaced by social networking – but not just on social networking sites like Linkedin and Facebook. To truly set yourself apart and have better job prospects, it’s crucial to have a TRUE social network – or a group of people with the ability and desire to help you.

If you spend a few seconds online, you’ll find countless articles explaining how a resume that is delivered to Human Resources or a hiring manager has a much better chance than a resume that is emailed or placed on a job board like But how does the resume get to that ‘insider’ that will walk it over – and maybe even say “This is a great candidate, you should take a good look”, or even better, “I can vouch for this candidate, they are fantastic”?

Building a network of people like this takes time and a little effort on your part. First, start with your classmates – especially those who will graduate before you. They’ll be in the workforce, possibly at companies you’d like to work for, before you’re looking for a job. Connect with them on Linkedin (I’ll assume at this point that you’ve already established a Linkedin profile, or that you’re about to set one up right now) – and keep in touch. It’s easier to ask a favor from someone you speak to from time to time.
The next best place to look is your alumni network, the tens of thousands of Hofstra Alums who are at the companies you’re looking at – and may even be in a position to hire. The Zarb Alumni Association (and associations from other schools) host events every semester on campus that are incredible ways for you to connect with these people. The Career Center will be hosting three events this semester in conjunction with the Zarb Alumni Association – February 11th and 25th, and March 5th – from 6:30-9pm. I encourage you to come for 30 minutes to meet a few alums and have your resume critiqued – or even practice your interview skills.

At 5:00 on February 25th, I will be hosting a class along with Fred Burke – the Executive Director of the Career Center – on how to use Linkedin to build a network and improve your prospects of getting your dream job. Please visit Pride CMS to sign up for this workshop or any of the career events mentioned above. I look forward to seeing you there!

-David Katzman
Sr. Associate, Forest Hills Financial Group
Chief Operating Officer, Zarb School of Business Alumni Association 

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