Networking Tip #2: Find Someone through Mutual Interests or Connections
LinkedIn can provide a lot of great information for an initial search, but I recommend that you look potential connections up to see if they have had any articles written about them or if they have a website. Your search can bring up a genuine point of interest for you to bring up when you reach out.
As part of your search for career-advancing opportunities, I suggest that you read articles in trade journals and follow thought leaders in your industry.
Often, they will mention companies, individuals and interesting topics that you can bring up during your call with your new connection. You can even reach out to your industry thought leader. You might be surprised. The worst that can happen is to receive no response. I’d take that chance and I think you should too. You never know!
Another great way to find someone is to search for a company that interests you on LinkedIn.
Once you find the company’s page, you can either go to the “People” tab or click at the top “See all (#) of employees.”
Once you click through either of these options, you will be able to see a list of people that work for that company that interests you and you can click through and narrow down the list based on job title, career trajectory, or even by education. If there are Cal State LA alumni that work for the company that interests you, I highly encourage you to reach out to them. Sharing an alma mater can be a powerful connection that can positively influence the development of a long-term professional relationship with someone.
And the last opportunity I will discuss for finding someone to connect with is through the Cal State LA Alumni Association and the Cal State LA Career Development Center Alumni Mentoring program.
Both of these university departments have partnered together to provide students with excellent opportunities to connect with individuals that share an alma mater and are open to mentoring and advising students or recent graduates.
This is the easiest way that you can get started. Cal State LA alumni can be a great way for you to start building a network and flexing skills needed to reach out to 3rd-degree connections and those potential connections outside your network.