Great post on a forgotten aspect of networking from my friend, Scott Sholtes, of www.AlumniAgent.com
With the current economic difficulties, many jobseekers have been looking for an edge in the job market. The average job posting on one of the large career sites receives between 400 and 600 resumes. How do you stand out in such a large crowd? While you may think it is impossible, the answer might just be that guy that sat next to you in Biology class back in your college days.
A highly undervalued tool in many jobseekers’ job search strategy is the power of networking. While many people think that they are using networking to the best of their abilities, many have not considered the power of alumni networking. Few connections are as strong as those one shares with their alma mater, so why not use those connections to land your next job?
Studies have shown that employees from the same alma mater often work well together. Employers are also more inclined to hire candidates from their alma mater because they know exactly what kind of educational background they are coming from.
Alumni networking can also help during the interview process. When an alumni employer interviews and alumni jobseeker, they already have something in common and it helps to relieve some of the tension.
Jobseekers can also use alumni networking in many other ways. They can join their local alumni association groups, and meet many new contacts there. These contacts will be connected in a variety of different businesses and industries, and some of them may even be able to recommend you for positions.
Statistically, 75% of jobs are never advertised and are filled through employee recommendations and referrals. Alumni networking can help you to become aware of many of the unadvertised positions and it may even land you your next job. There are also websites dedicated to helping alumni connect in the job market. AlumniAgent.com is a good example of one of these sites, and it is very effective at helping to give jobseekers an edge in the job market.
University alumni associations are also great resources. They have complete lists of alumni in your area, and they can help you to become aware of alumni events in your area. Some alumni associations have job boards where you can find jobs with employers from your alma mater.
Having a connection with a potential employer can create a distinct advantage, and could mean the difference between landing a great job and returning to your job search. Alumni networking is an extremely valuable tool, and can provide access to many jobs you would have never heard about. If you are looking for an edge in the job market, alumni networking could be just the thing to help you find your next career.
Scott Sholtes is a Social Media Specialist for AlumniAgent.com, a career based website. He has been a professional blogger for the past three years and has expert knowledge in the job search field.