LinkedIn’s Hidden Gem – The Alumni Search Tool

If you haven’t yet tapped into the Alumni search tool on LinkedIn, let’s talk about this hidden gem and how you can use it to get an edge. Use this tool to check out UR alumni for many reasons, such as: networking for job/company/industry information, prepping for an interview (get company insight), or planning for your career. Are you transitioning careers, and learning about your options? Connect with UR alumni for informational interviews to get the inside track on what you should be doing. Prepping for an interview? Find UR alumni at that company for helpful insight you cannot find online. Wanting to relocate to a new city? Find fellow Spiders in that area. The possibilities are endless. Think of it as the biggest networking party without the awkward standing around!

Here are some tips and etiquette to get started:

  • To find the tool, first navigate to the University of Richmond page on LinkedIn and find the blue button marked, ‘See Alumni’, near the top [this feature is, oddly enough, not available on the app.]
  • *There is also a page specifically for the Robins School of Business– search for ‘University of Richmond – Robins School of Business’ and you will find more specific alumni. Many Robins School of Business alumni select this, so it’s worth checking out both!
  • Notice that there are several filters to use: where they live (city), where they work (company), what they do (industry), and three others on the next page – what they studied, what they’re skilled at, and how you are connected.
  • You can also filter (at the top) by “Attended” or “Graduated,” and indicate which years you want to see. Perhaps you want to connect with seasoned professionals, or you’d rather talk with someone recently navigating an industry.
  • There is also a keyword search if you’re not finding something particular.
  • The filters are tiered, meaning you can search in DC, and that will re-sort the other categories based on just DC alumni, and so on.
  • Once you scroll down, you will find the profiles and search results.
  • To send a personalized note (always do this), click “Connect” at the bottom of their profile box, and a prompt will ask you to either “Add a Note,” or “Send Now” – add a note!
  • Beware of the character limit – 300 – so be short, sweet and to the point: who you are, your connection (UR) to them, how you found their profile, and what you’d like to learn from connecting with them.
  • Think of this tool as a way to elevate your professional relationship from online to in-person. You find them on LinkedIn, now see if you can get them on the phone, or an in-person meeting, and really build that relationship.

Keep in mind, not all LinkedIn users update or check their profiles regularly. The absolute worst thing that can happen when reaching out to someone is that you don’t get a response. There are so many valuable people to connect with on LinkedIn, so if you don’t get a response – keep searching. The bigger mistake would be not trying to connect!

Written By: Becca Shelton, Career Advisor

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