Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How to Network with Alumni

You might have heard over and over that networking is important when trying to find a job or internship or to get career advice. But if you’re like most people, you probably have no idea where to start or how to start a conversation.

What if I told you that there was a huge population of people that you are connected with that could provide you with some networking opportunities? Yes, there is an answer: alumni. There are tons of Hofstra alumni in various industries that are available for networking and informational interviews.

Here are 2 ways to do this:
  1.  Alumni Student Konnection – This free service provided to Hofstra students allows you to contact alumni and ask career-related questions. For more information, you contact The Career Center at 516-463-6060.
  2. – At LinkedIn, you can search for alumni and narrow down your search results by information such as major, job title, and location. You can also see if you and the alum know people in common.

 If you want to get more detailed advice on how to network with alumni, join us at The Career Center for our How to Network with Alumni Workshop: next Wednesday, March 5, from 11:30 to 12:30! You will also get the chance to hear from a Hofstra student who was able to successfully network with an alum.

I will leave you with some Networking Tips...
  1. When first contacting the alumni, mention something you and the alum have in common, not just that you both went to Hofstra. (examples: having the same undergraduate major, having work experience at the same company, similar interests, etc.). If you and the alum know someone in common, see if that person can make the introduction.
  2. Do not ask for a job right away. Most of the alums you contact will not have the power to give or offer you a job. And anyway you want to establish a connection and find out information about the career/company the alum works in first and build rapport and trust. That way you can see what qualifications and characteristics the company values and what the people in charge of hiring look for in their candidates.
  3. After you have spent some time building a connection with your networking contact, then you may hear about job opportunities from that contact or start to inquire about ones that become available and match your qualifications.
  4. Provide value to your networking contacts and keep the connection. Building rapport with a networking contact should not be just about you asking for help. Utilize your connection by finding about the industry the contact is connected to and offer to help when needed. You can also share information and articles that you think might be helpful to this person. A good way to keep the connection is to have a LinkedIn profile and connect with your networking contacts on LinkedIn.
  5. Don’t bring your resume to networking events. That’s what business cards are for. For more information on how to design your own business card, make an appointment with a career counselor at The Career Center.

We hope to see you on the 5th! Good luck, and happy networking!

Nayelli Perez, Assistant Director

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