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4 Ways to Leverage Your Alma Mater in Your Job Search

Posted on the 16 May 2012 by Classycareergirl @classycareer

Today’s post is written by Lindsey Harper Mac.  Lindsay specializes in writing about education, professional and personal development, and career building and writes on behalf of Colorado Technical University.

Contrary to popular belief, your alma mater won’t just push you out of the nest and expect you to fly on your own. In addition to preparing you for the professional world by arming you with a quality education, your alma mater can also provide you with the tools necessary to make this transition smoother and more successful. Finding a job as an individual can seem impossible with the current uninviting job market, but when you have a team of well-connected professionals to support you, the world truly is your oyster.

To find out how you can leverage your alma mater to help you find your dream job, consider the following helpful resources.

1. Utilize the Career Services Department

Most colleges have a career services department designed primarily to help students in their job search. Most career services departments are not limited to helping recent graduates, but in providing lifelong services to all alumni. Set up an appointment with a career development professional in this department to review current job listings, respond to your questions, and offer professional advice for your job search.

2. Reconnect with Professors and Peers

One of the more personal resources you can take advantage of is reconnecting to former professors and peers. Your former professors can provide you with excellent recommendations to improve your appeal in the job market and cam possibly help personally connect you with his or her professional peers who may be searching for new employees. Your peers who have already found work can also help you by providing personal recommendations and connections to other professionals in your industry.

3. Extend Your Education

You may have to focus on your own professional development to improve your appeal to potential employers. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is by furthering your education. You can enroll in an advanced degree program or simply take a few classes to specialize in a certain aspect of your profession. No matter how committed you are, working toward extending your education is an effective, proactive way to surpass the competition. To accommodate your busy schedule, ask your guidance counselor about online education alternatives.

4. Enhance Your Resume

First impressions can make all the difference in the success of your job search, which is why having a resume that is polished and up to date is crucial for catching the attention of employers. Most institutions have a center available solely for helping students and alumni improve their resumes by reading it over for grammatical errors, evaluating for design appeal, and offering structural advice to increase general appeal.

As a general rule, you will want to focus on emphasizing the active role you played in your professional development. For example, if you received an award of some sort in college, talk about how you actively worked to achieve this award instead of passively describing how it was given to you. In addition to improving the style, structure, and content of your resume, your alma mater can also help market your resume to potential employers to ensure that it won’t simply be tossed to the bottom of the pile.

How have you used your alma mater in your career search?

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