Hey class of 2012! It’s the end of the school year, graduation is here and gone, and you’re tantalizingly close to the “real world” and all that it encompasses. Are you ready? For most grads the answer is “yeah right” (kudos to those of you with full-time jobs already lined up) but don’t worry, there’s no need to panic. At least not yet.
The recent economic turmoil of the past few years has left the job market filled beyond capacity with the hungry, overqualified, and sometimes desperate, unemployed. As if finding a job wasn’t hard enough for new grads! Luckily for fraternity and sorority members, you have a secret weapon: the Greek network.
The Greek Network (not directed by Aaron Sorkin)
When we say the Greek network we don’t mean your bros in the chapter or your big sis who graduated two years ago. Instead, we encourage you to think bigger. Consider alumni who are 30+ in age, went to a different university, and are even from a different state. Starting to get the picture? One of the greatest benefits of being a Greek member is the network you automatically have upon graduation. True, you may not be able to get in touch with a celebrity alum but we bet there are plenty other alumni who have industry experience, great connections, and who have made a sizable amount of money. So how do you tap these resources?
Alumni associations events are severely underrated in today’s tech-happy society. While we don’t discount technology (we love technology!) we hope you don’t ignore the amazing benefits of meeting people in person. Oftentimes, fraternity and sorority alumni associations are based on the local city or region rather than the chapter to accommodate transplanted alumni (i.e. alumni living in New York rather than alumni of NYU). Alumni events are a great opportunity to meet people from other places, learn about their collegiate experiences, and expand your network beyond your college town. Plus, you already have a fantastic ice breaker! We also encourage you to check out your university’s alumni association. Every college has one, guaranteed.
For most college students, LinkedIn is the ugly stepsister of Facebook. Admittedly, Facebook is more conducive for the social needs and lifestyle of college students, after all that’s what it was originally created for. However, for the career-seeking, soon-to-be recent grad, LinkedIn is your new bestie. Accept it. Once you’ve added all your friends on LinkedIn, join the groups for your fraternity or sorority, and start connecting with alumni. Put yourself out there, comment on a thread, start a topic, and link with new people who haven’t seen you throw up in the bushes. Worried about linking with an alum you don’t know? Don’t be, that’s what LinkedIn is for. Hint: mentioning you’re looking for a job is not a faux pas on LinkedIn.
Need some help creating your LinkedIn profile? Look here
Network Your Network
You’ve met a lot of great people, made new connections, but still don’t have anything lined up for after graduation. Now what? Meeting new people is great but expanding your network doesn’t mean jack unless you use it! Once you’ve met people, ask them about jobs and make new connections through them. This doesn’t mean you should approach an alum and say “Hi, please introduce me to someone at Apple because I want to work there.” Rather, once you’ve met someone new, do some research on their network, company and even alma mater, and then ask questions or for a reference or intro if appropriate. Most professionals are more than happy to make introductions (watch out for the 1% that isn’t) especially if they think the introduction will be mutually beneficial. So if you’re a mechanical engineering major, and your new contact has a friend who’s hiring mechanical engineers at his firm, there’s no problem in asking. Worst case scenario, you don’t get an intro. But best case, you get a job. Hooray!
This post was generously provided by ChapterBoard.