It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know. This age-old statement is partly true. It’s always important to develop the skills you need to succeed in a career path. At the same time, it’s equally important to network with people with your exact skill set to gain some leverage in job hunting. This system is known as an alumni network and is an effective method of making connections that lead to mutual benefits. Within these networks, there are two types with different goals. Colleges utilize an alumni network to garner fundraising as an opportunity for former students to give back to their alma mater for what that college did for them. Corporations use alumni networks for a plethora of reasons. They use them to tap into a potential talent pool to hire; boost business development, increase sales, and serve as a bridge between mentors and mentees.
To bring relevant data into this, Academic Influence conducted a study on the effects of the influence of alumni networks. They found that businesses that engage with alumni see up to a 44% increase in net new business. Moreover, engaged alumni deliver a 10% increase in brand sentiment. Lastly, they remarked that having alumni and brand advocates is worth 5 times more than the average customer. Given these stunning stats, it’s amazing to see how easy it is to make an alumni network. Here are some tips and guides on how to construct one.
The first tip is to volunteer for a committee role. Doing this will get your organization out there which will provide an opportunity to connect with students. Another tip is to use social media platforms to make connections. The best platform to use is LinkedIn since it is geared toward professionals displaying their craft. From there you can see the alumni’s skill set, work history, and methods of contact to get the conversation going.