How to use your Alumni Community for career networking

There's a new and exclusive resource available—just for Columbia alumni. The online Alumni Community is a portal for many things, from updating your information with Columbia to group discussions. For networkers, job seekers, or hiring managers, it's an important place to establish a profile as a savvy professional, thought leader, and to leverage your Columbia connections.

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Read on for 10 tips on how to optimize the Alumni Community for your job search and enhance your professional profile.

Optimize your profile 

1. Add your brief bio to the About Me section. Don't forget to include something personal, such as your hobbies, interests, passions, or volunteer experience. This is the first thing people will see when looking at your profile. Also, people with their About Me section filled in have the opportunity to be a Featured Connection (this functionality coming soon). 

2. Add a photo. If you're job seeking, try a professional headshot. 

3. Make sure your employment history is accurate; add additional positions to establish a fuller job history. 

4. Choose your field of work, and add up to three specialties within it. 

5. Indicate if you are Open to Opportunities, Returning to Work, Employed, or Retired.

6. Mark your interests in the Subscriptions tab. Don't forget that networking beyond your professional field can lead to unexpected opportunities. Be sure to check "career" to indicate your networking interest.

Leverage the Alumni Directory

7. Find out who's working in a specific company, field of work, or location by using the advanced search. 

8. Send someone a direct message. Ask for their insight about company culture, their growth path, and professional insight.... Columbian to Columbian. Please be respectful and understand this is a trusted network. Use your outreach wisely and to make meaningful connections. Do not "cold call" people for jobs. 

Show your thought leadership

9. Join or start a group in the "Discuss" section. Post frequently around topics that show your insight and expertise. You can even upload files or take quick polls. 

10. Become a member of the Careers Opportunity group. Benefit from the opportunities and conversations there, and pay it forward by posting tips or things that you've learned along the way.

For a little fun, check out a GIF version of this list.

Ready to get started? Join the community now!


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