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How to find college classmates on LinkedIn

LinkedIn, how to use LinkedIn for job search,
Did you know that finding classmates from your college is easy on LinkedIn? 

I’ll explain in a minute how (and why!) to do that, but first, make sure that you’ve added your college information correctly into the Education section of your profile so you'll get better results when you search for fellow alums. 

Here’s how: 

1) Log on to LinkedIn.

2) Visit Profile and then Edit Profile. Scroll to the Education section, click “Add education” and then type in your college’s name into the School box until the system recognizes it. Then select the name of the correct school from the list the system generates (this will ensure you are “tied” to the right college so that you can access your classmates’ information correctly).

3) Opt to include the dates that you attended by clicking the Dates Attended box, or if you prefer, leave the boxes on the hyphens to keep the years that you attended private.

LinkedIn education, removing years from LinkedIn education section,

To keep the years that you attended college private, leave the Dates Attended boxes set on the hyphens.

4) Fill in the other parts of the Education section including degree, field of study, grade, activities and societies, and description. Including such information can make it easier for alums to find you.

Now let’s talk about how to find your college classmates.

1) Under the Network tab on LinkedIn, click Find Alumni. Your college entry(ies) should appear.

2) Click the year boxes next to the Attended link and choose to view classmates from the time you attended or expand your search to view alumni from many more years.

3) Fine tune your search by clicking the boxes under the “Where they live”, “Where they work”, and “What they do" options and then scroll to view the people who make up those smaller lists.

LinkedIn, LinkedIn university, LinkedIn university pages, LinkedIn college pages, find college classmates on LinkedIn,
Join your alumni group on LinkedIn by scrolling to the bottom of your Find Alumni page and clicking the Find Group button. 

LinkedIn join your alumni group, join your LinkedIn college alumni group,
Click “Find Group” to locate your college alumni group on LinkedIn. 

Often joining such a group does not involve having to be a paid member of your college’s physical alumni group. By joining your LinkedIn alumni group (or any group on LinkedIn), you can send a message to any member of the group for free or invite him/her to connect. 

To do either:

1) Click on Interests and then Groups

2) Find and click on the alumni group in your Groups listing and then click the Members tab. 

3) Scroll through the list, hover over a non-connection until the box turns light blue and then use the links that appear to either invite the person to connect or to send him/her a message.

How can this help you if you are job seeking?
By searching and sorting through your university’s LinkedIn alumni list and joining your LinkedIn alumni group, you can find classmates who live in your city, work at your target companies and hire the types of positions that you seek. Your next step should then be to reach out to them to seek their wisdom or assistance.

Many alums are glad to connect with or help a former classmate even if you were from a different era. So take a chance and reach out to fellow alums. It’s easy to start the relationship. Just write to them something as simple as, “I see you also attended the University of Texas. Hook ‘em Horns! As a fellow Longhorn, I’d like to invite you to connect.”

These articles can help you reach influential classmates:

Get your resume to rise to the top (by finding/emailing target people)
Inviting strangers to connect
Setting up referral interviews
Maximizing informational interviews
Calling the hiring manager
Following up with people by phone

Following up applications by email

What questions or comments do you have about finding or connecting with college classmates? Share them! -- Kathy

The bottom line: Find and contact influential alums from your college! Doing so can help you network your way into the next job. 


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