Do you smell that? The Class of 2016 is graduating; accomplishment, success, hope and anxiety are in the air. We’ve been posting quite a bit on how our upcoming graduates can use LinkedIn to search for and develop new opportunities. Were you aware that there is a “Find Alumni” function in LinkedIn? This function allows users to get familiar with alumni in their immediate and extended network, and potentially begin to form connections as the search for new opportunities commences. Let’s take a look.
Hover over “My Network” in the Navigation Bar. When the dropdown menu appears, you will select “Find Alumni.”
Once you’re on the Find Alumni page, you’ll notice a search field, an option for searching by “Attended” or “Graduated” with an additional option for selecting years and several columns that help to classify the alumni selections for a particular school.
*Note: You may also see an button to “Change university” if you have attended or are affiliated with more than one school.
There is a lot to play around with and explore here. Here are a few examples of ways to use these fields:
- If you are seeking to connect with alumni in a particular geographic area or company, you may want to start by selecting an option from the “Where they live” or “Where the work” columns.
- If you are interested in connecting with alumni in a particular field, you can select from a list of major categories in the “What they do” column.
- You may want to continue narrowing down your results by selecting a few different options, such as alumni in Washington D.C. or Baltimore, MD, who work at Morgan Stanley or M&T Bank in Operations. Keep selecting options until you’ve narrowed your results down to a manageable list. You can see your results list by scrolling down to find thumbnails of matching profiles as shown here:
- If a location, company or field is not represented in these columns, use the Search field to type in what you’re looking for and take it from there.
You will also notice an arrow to the right of “What they do,” as shown below:
This arrow provides even more categories to choose from, including “What they studied,” “What they’re skilled at” and “How you are connected.”
Again, there’s a lot of potential here:
- “What they studied” is a great way to search if you’re exploring what roles and positions to pursue within your major.
- “What they’re skilled at” gives you an even closer look at what skills these individuals have listed in their Skills section. Remember, you can search multiple selections and multiple columns at once. You may be interested in connecting with someone who studied Psychology and is skilled in research. Use multiple columns in order to zero in on alumni with more specific skillsets.
- And finally, it is always a good idea to know how you may have a potential connection to a person that you’re planning on reaching out to. We recommend beginning with 2nd level Connections so that you can discover a clear connection path and ask to be introduced by a common 1st level connection.
For students, recent graduates, and even professionals who have been in the workforce for years, this frequently overlooked tool in Linkedin is a great way to build your network, start new conversations, open new doors and learn more about what possibilities lie ahead. Have fun exploring this feature and be strategic about how you use it.
For employers and recruiters, there is a whole world of new and untapped talent out there. Go find them!