I’ve been telling trainees about the use of LinkedIn to reach out to alumni for a while now, and decided to “field test” my advice;-)

Would the alumni from your Alma Mater really be open to your contact?

Absolutely – read on…

“Are you willing to accept contact from fellow alumni?”

I posted this simple question in the discussion section of the LinkedIn group for the University of Buffalo – I spent the better part of the ’80s there – and was not surprised with the results.

A dozen replies over the next two days with uniform agreement – absolutely.

They’re on LinkedIn because they want to reach out

I won’t attempt to psycho-analyze my classmates, but it doesn’t take much to figure out.  People are expecting to use LinkedIn to reach out and in turn be contacted.  It’s not much of a step to listen when others actually use the system to reach out to you…

So start your note with an acknowledgment of that fine institution you both attended and let them know what you have in mind.

Offering value

It doesn’t mean that people want spam – Alumni are going to respond positively when your requests are modest, the situation reasonable, and you’re offering them something of value.

So that means they’ll open and read your introduction, but after that you’ve got to make it compelling – and that’s another story.

To your continued success,

Steven Tylock