How Target Companies' Employees and School Alumni on LinkedIn Can Help Job Seekers
After you grow your LinkedIn network to about 150 connections, which is roughly the tipping point for a powerful network during a job search, and complete your online profile, LinkedIn can be an extremely powerful tool for finding people with whom you can conduct informational interviews.
Don’t try reaching out to new people until you’ve completed your profile. If you contact people and your profile doesn’t look amazing, they may decide not to get back to you. And try your best to grow your network to at least 150 contacts, or you may not have access to enough people.
New and former employees
Generally, many professionals, particularly new hires, enjoy talking about their positions and their industry. Let’s face it: New hires have accomplished something extraordinary. They demonstrated the qualities necessary to beat many others to the position they now occupy. They’re probably quite proud of their accomplishments, and they can share valuable lessons with you about getting into the industry or company.
Former employees tend to have something to say as well, although what they have to offer may be less enthusiastic than what a new hire has to offer. Former employees are likely to tell you about the skeletons in the closet, the hard questions to ask during an interview, and any insight into the future of the company.
Here’s how to find new hires and former employees in LinkedIn:
Visit the company profile page for your target company.
To conduct a company search, just start typing the company name in the search bar, and LinkedIn will suggest companies for you. Click the one you want.
Click on the Insights tab.
Insights give you a list of anyone in the company who has a new title as well as anyone you may know who has left the company. Does anyone on this list seem like they’re in a position to offer you advice? Perhaps they’re new to the department or business unit you’re going for. Or maybe they just look friendly.
Your school’s alumni network
Nothing is stronger than the connection you have with fellow alumni. Your school’s alumni counsel and career center have high hopes for the LinkedIn Group they started. Not only are schools encouraging alumni to join their alumni group, but also they’re promoting participation in events, discussions, and networking with other members.
To access your school’s alumni network for info interviews, just follow these simple steps. (But first, make sure that you have fully filled out the Education section on your profile.)
Visit www.linkedin.com/alumni to access the powerful Alumni Search tool.
Select the school you want to search and graduation years.
Narrow down your search by selecting the variable of the types of people you want to meet, like where they live and work and what they do.
Try selecting different variable combinations, each time checking out the new people who show up in the list.