Ask a career expert about the most effective job search strategy and you will universally hear the response networking. The alumni body from their school is perhaps the most valuable networking resource for college grads. Here are some of the best ways to connect with alumni and take advantage of this powerful resource. Contact the career services and/or alumni affairs office for your college and inquire about any database of alumni volunteers. You can search for contacts by geographic area and career field normally and mention that you are looking to contact them for advice and information about your career or job search. Compose an email or letter like the following to try to set up an informational consultation. I was delighted to learn through the ABC College Career Development Office's Alumni Network that you have volunteered to advise students and alumni about the best ways to build a career in the advertising industry. I am intrigued by the prospect of launching my career in the field and would love to hear your perspective on the subject as a senior who will graduate this May. I am completing a Business major with a concentration in Marketing, including two courses in advertising.

How to contact college alumni connections

Group projects where we devised advertising campaigns for local small businesses have sparked a strong interest in the field. I have also worked in the advertising department for our school paper and helped promote events for my sorority. For a restaurateur in the area, last fall I interned with a small local marketing firm and helped to develop a social media strategy. Would it be possible for me to call you next week to schedule an informational interview for winter break when I'll be in New York? Thanks for taking the time to consider my request. Through events sponsored by the career office, alumni office or regional alumni clubs for your college is another great way to connect with alumni. Some events will have an obvious career related theme like speed networking or career panels. Other programs like gallery or museum visits, lectures or social gatherings will also provide a comfortable opportunity to meet alumni while pursuing a common interest. Events will be offered on campus as well as in various cities with significant alumni populations. Check the websites for the career office, alumni office and local alumni clubs for ideas. Prepare questions so you are ready to engage alumni at events. Devise a brief introduction which will give alumni a summary of some of your key assets, interests and aspirations. Try to schedule some informational consultations with alumni at their job site as a follow up to your interactions at events. If you have secured business cards, you can either do this at the program or afterwards via email. Make sure that you join any LinkedIn groups for your college. Compose messages emphasizing that you are a fellow alum with a keen interest in their field. Social media provides excellent opportunities to connect with alumni.