Remember to expand your job/internship search, you need to reach out beyond the ‘physical’ job search. This includes companies that recruit from your campus. After all, there are multitudes of companies and organizations, that have fabulous jobs that need someone like you, but don’t happen to set up a booth at your career fair. It is up to you to seek them out.
This is ‘Virtual Job Searching.’ Virtual job searching includes reaching out by phone, email, Skype and in person to set up dialogue with people or organizations that you would never have connected with before.
One great way to line up these sessions is to reach out to alumni. Remember, not so long ago, these people sat where you are today. The campus experience you both share gives you something in common to break the ice and help meet someone you don’t know.
The best tool to do this with is LinkedIn’s University Pages. With this tool, you can search LinkedIn members who are alumni from your university.
Steps to do this:
- Log on to LinkedIn and type your university name into the search box. (Often there are multiple hits because a lot of campus groups from your university have listings there) You will find one for the whole university, and select that one.
- Next, you will see a prompt that says: ‘Explore Careers of 127,000+ (this number obviously varies by campus) Alumni’, click on that phrase.
- You will then see a variety of info on those alumni including:
- Where they live
- Where they work
- What they do (at that organization)
- What they studied in college
- What they are skilled at
- And how you’re connected to them or not
- Next to each of the above headings, you will see a magnifying glass to the right. If you click on that, you can expand your search. By way of example on the ‘Where they live’ column, you can click on the magnifying glass and type in say, ‘Syracuse NY.’ Then it will adjust the rest of the columns to that criterion. You can get as detailed as you want. Say you are planning a trip to city X, search on that city and in the role you want to land, example: Marketing, and you will see alumni.
- When you select a category, it narrows down your search and will display that criterion above the columns. You can make multiple choices. It also tells you how many people meet the criteria. It is also easy to ‘de-select’ a choice by hitting the ‘x’ in the upper right of that choice.
- Play with the tool and begin to reach out to contacts. You can Google ‘Informational Interview Emails’ or stay tuned for our next blog detailing templates.
- Look up relevant alumni who can help you in a big way given their understanding of a particular role or profession
- Add them to Job Search Radar so that you stay organized with potential contacts
- Google for sample templates to help you construct emails
- Draft a ‘request for a meeting’ email
- Select a time when you can be in a particular area and begin your ‘ask’ campaign
- Know that best people to connect with are very busy, so if you do not hear back, try again
Lastly, here is another blog that I found on the LinkedIn site about University Pages.
Looking for more on Informational Interviews? Check out the rest of our 7 part series:
- Part 1: Introduction to Informational Interviews- What is an informational interview
- Part 2: Acitivity Breeds Results- The more you engage the more your interviewing improves
- Part 3: How to Get the Interview- Best practices for getting an interview
- Part 4: Pre-Requisites- Pre-Requisites to make the most of your interviews
- Part 6: Email Templates- Templates for reaching out to professionals
- Part 7: Summary- Review of everything Informational Interview