Many young alumni will email/call/talk with me about how they tried to network within their local alumni club, but alas, their efforts yielded no responses. When I drill down and ask about their efforts, most of the time I discover that the ‘networking’ that took place was an email to a club officer (usually a club president) asking the club officer to forward the young alum’s attached resume to any club member who the officer feels appropriate.
When I hear this story I ask the job hunter what he/she thinks is the role of the alumni club president? I have yet to hear “Get me a job” or “Send emails out on my behalf.” Once the young alum realizes that the request he/she has made of the club officer is not appropriate, I pull out the famous St. Francis of Assisi quote, “For it is in giving that we receive.”
Networking Tip: Job hunters need to give as much, or more, assistance as they receive.
If one truly wants to tap the networking power of a local alumni club, one should first look in how to become involved. Volunteer for help out with a game watch, student send-off, or other event. When club members and officers see that an individual is actively participating in the club events, members and officers are more willing to proactively help that individual.
In all my networking efforts, I always close an email/meeting/call with “If I can be of assistance to you, I would be happy to repay the kindness you have extended me.” It is important for those new at networking to realize that their efforts need to be a two way street.
For it is Giving that We Receive.