Alumni Networks Think Outside Your School

You’ve thought about using your school’s alumni network to find a job. But have you considered using your corporate alumni network? In a tough economy, networking is a more powerful tool than ever. Job seekers shouldn’t underestimate their connections with former coworkers, and many companies are recognizing alumni as an important aspect of their existing corporate culture.

Some firms have dedicated Web sites just for alumni networks so current and former employees can keep in touch easily. Sites often include directories, a schedule of organized social events, a company news page, and even a job board where new positions are be posted before they’re published elsewhere.

These online networks can be major job hunting hubs. Some sites allow headhunters and recruiters to register and connect with alums, and alumni can post queries for job searches. Webinars, training programs, and other continuing education resources are also often available through the sites, so people in a work hiatus can keep their skills and industry awareness sharp as they search.

Companies tend to have strong internal cultures, which builds loyalty among both current employees and alums. Employers screen candidates carefully to ensure they’re the right fit, current and past employees have a strong bond and lots in common. This means they’re more willing to help one another network.

However, official company alumni sites aren’t the only way to leverage a network. Networking sites such as LinkedIn and other social networking sites such as Facebook make it easy to form groups and keep in touch for everyone from high level execs to a company’s “interns from the summer of 2010.”

There are even online groups just for people surviving a layoff. Southern Progress Corporation, a division of Time Inc., handed down several rounds of layoffs over the last several years. Survivors banded together on Facebook to create a group called “There's Life After SPC,” a “support group, cheerleading section, and advice center from those of us who have left SPC and survived and thrived.” Everyone from interns to seasoned editors leaves posts about what’s going on, hot jobs on the market, and other news.

When job hunting, leverage your corporate alumni network. It’s a lot bigger and more useful than you might think, and your work history means you have a lot in common with the people you’re reaching out to.

For more information about XSell Resources call 215-706-4500 or Contact Us.

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