January 17, 2014 by Gregg Ruoti
When speaking with a candidate for the first time I always like to review what they’ve done proactively up to this point in their search. Due to the nature of our client’s needs I am typically dealing with candidates that at minimum have a Bachelor’s degree. I am always amazed that little to none had even considered networking with contacts from their Alma mater.
You likely paid (or are still paying loans-off years later!) for your education. Take advantage of this “˜exclusive club’ you are a member of. Remember, there was a barrier to entry and you had to achieve years of intense milestones to earn that degree.
You’ve earned the right to seek out and contact directly your alumni in management roles that graduated from the same university as you. The conversation will take a natural course e.g. what you’ve achieved since you left school, where you lived on campus, what activities you participated in and similar classes and professors.
But most importantly, show off the research you’ve done on their firm and why you are interested in seeking a role there. Ask them if there is a role there or an associate they think they should put you in touch with where you can add the most value to their firm. They will likely be glad to assist you.
If you’re uncomfortable doing this, ask yourself a simple question: how you would treat an alumni that called you looking for a role? Once you learn to look at alumni as important assets in your career, you will understand what you’ve been missing.