Have You Connected with Your Professors on LinkedIn?

Professors have large career networks of former students.

by Donna Svei on November 18, 2010

Have you connected with your professors, especially those in your major, or your graduate program, on LinkedIn? Rich DeMatteo (@CornOnTheJob), a Philadelphia recruiter, suggested doing this on #LinkedInChat a couple of weeks ago.

Rich’s idea makes a ton of sense. Why? Well, many of your professors probably match Malcolm Gladwell’s definition of a Connector. Gladwell says that Connectors know lots of people. Your professors know lots of people. The longer they’ve been teaching, the more people they know.

Sweetly, your professors know many people who have the same training you have. These people, because you’re alums of the same school, and perhaps the same program, will be more likely to give you informational interviews, refer you to jobs, and hire you than people who don’t share your background.

So, connect with your professors. They want you to succeed. Then they want you to make munificent gifts to your alma mater. Think of it as a win/win. Or they might just enjoy catching up over a beer. After you’ve connected with your professors, review their networks to see if there’s anyone you might like to get to know. If there is, move ahead with a professional, mutually respectful and beneficial, networking strategy.

Nervous? Shy? Please realize that some of these people probably want to meet you as much you want to meet them. They might be hiring managers looking for someone a lot like themselves to fill an open position. They might be eligible for an internal referral bonus if they find the right person for an open job at their company. Etc.

One final note, where your fellow alums have completed their LinkedIn profiles, you can also look at their work histories and find possibilities for your career. What have they done with their training that you might also do with yours? That’s a nice creative resource to have.

BTW, please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/donnasvei. My email address is donnasvei@gmail.com. I love connecting with people who read my blog!

I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Save time. Get hired. Email me at donnasvei@gmail.com or call me at (208) 721-0131.

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