Career Assistance – Tap Your Alumni Network For Support

Keli W. Rodriguez

Laid off? Thinking about making a career change?

Many colleges and universities provide vital resources to alumni who are in the market for job advice. If you think these services are limited to those who have just been awarded diplomas, think again. You don’t necessarily have to be a recent graduate to seek help from your alma mater.

I’ll begin this post with a disclaimer: some schools provide more services than others. And some provide excellent services to graduates of their professional schools, while offering little support to those who came out of other fields. Worst case, you may find that your alma mater doesn’t offer much for you. Best case, though – and the reason it’s worth your while to explore this option – it may be quite useful.

You may be eligible for free alumni career coaching or counseling, which could include services like resume preparation, individual assessment, help targeting potential employers and guidance regarding salary negotiations. Some schools schedule networking events during the course of the year – again, not limited to any particular age group. Some have culled short lists of vetted executive recruiting firms to which they refer alumni. Some offer mentoring programs. You get the idea. It’s worth a call to your alumni association to see what might be available.

Even if your school doesn’t provide any of these types of services, there’s a very good chance that there are various electronic resources, including alumni networking opportunities, available and waiting for you to take advantage of them.

Go to your university’s main website and look for the alumni section. You might find things like a “University Career Center,” perhaps some type of alumni community (this can be a great networking resource), or even opportunities for electronic online learning in order to continue to develop your skills.

Many schools also offer alumni yellow pages and job blogs as well.

And if you have a profile on a professional networking site such as LinkedIn, go to the “groups” tab and enter the name of your college or university. There’s a good chance you’ll at least one, if not more, networking group listed. Some of these are more robust than others, but you can check to see how many members belong before you join.

You’re really never too old to go back to your alma mater for support. Call or click to see how they can be of assistance. 

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