The necessity of having a strong alumni network

The reputation and success of any educational institution including higher educational institutions lies on its students – past as well as present. Faculty, administration staff and placement personnel also play a vital role. The reputation grows when it keeps producing successful graduates and post-graduates continuously – intelligent, innovative and effective in their fields.

Alumni can help institutions sustain through their donations, and voluntary help. If a big chunk of the money that institutions require come from alumni it will help those institutions remain competitive. They can provide their students newer technology, better facility, and nicer campus. Let us now study and review the possible areas in which alumni can provide a strong support to educational institutions:

Brand building

With mushrooming educational institutions around the world, one way for institutes to stand apart from domestic and international competition is to promote its brand. And an institute’s alumni are its best bet. It is not only the alumni’s professional successes that drive a brand but also factors like alumni driven campus recruitment, social campaigns go a long way in promoting a brand.

Grading

Year after year, the race for ranking has gained more prominence as more and more institutions have entered the fray. Apart from factors like infrastructure, quality of faculty, curriculum, research facilities, now alumni success and engagement are also being taken into consideration.

National Assessment and Accreditation council’s (NAAC) Revised Assessment and Accreditation framework indicates a shift in several metrics – one of it being to bring in enhanced participation of students and alumni in the assessment process. NAAC has specified that alumni engagement can contribute in academic matters, student support as well as mobilisation of resources – both financial and non-financial.

Naming rights

With the intention of encouraging significant contributors’/donors, higher educational institutions have embarked on a policy of granting naming rights to major facilities and programs.

Programs in this connection refer to scholarship, fellowship, chair-professorship, endowment, etc

Facilities in this connection refer to movable and immovable properties, research lab equipment, etc.

The name of the person, in respect of whom the Naming Rights have been granted, shall be prominently displayed at all times on the immovable or movable property during the tenure of the Naming Rights.

Placements

The alumni network of a college/university is one of the biggest sources of placement opportunities for students. Alumni can help students get placed at their respective organisations.

Mentorship and career guidance

Alumni can play an active role in voluntary programmes like mentoring students in their area of expertise. Further alumni are a huge talent pool whose guidance can be beneficial to many students in their respective areas of study.

Networking platform

Alumni network by itself is one of the biggest professional networking platforms available today.

So, it may be concluded that former students or alumni of an institution can play an immensely positive role in higher education transformation. The alumni have the great potential to promote institutional development. It has equally great ability to build a skill and knowledge-sharing network. It is therefore strategic for institutions of higher learning to establish and maintain good relations with its alumni by inviting them in decision making, network building and developmental processes for the overall advancement of the institution.

Significance of LinkedIn in Job Hunting

LinkedIn is the largest professional networking website having 756 million members in 200 countries worldwide. It has actually been around longer than Facebook & Twitter. It helps you to create and manage your online professional brand, which means nearly an unlimited supply of network connections and job opportunities. LinkedIn can perform near miracles for your career development. Hiring managers and employers both use LinkedIn to source candidates for employment. As a candidate you can use LinkedIn to research companies at the same time you will also appear in the search done by different recruiters. Here your presence on LinkedIn plays a significant role.

If you are a job seeker, you can let recruiters and your network on LinkedIn know you are open to new job opportunities.  LinkedIn will help your profile show up in search results when recruiters look for suitable job candidates.

In the current scenario, most of the recruiters check the LinkedIn profiles of candidates who apply to their openings. That’s why it’s highly important for job seekers to manage their profiles well.

Five major advantages of LinkedIn for jobseekers:

  1. You can create your professional brand: There are certain ways of creating a professional brand i.e. building your own websites, writing professional blogs etc. but creating a LinkedIn profile is much easier. It takes hardly 30 minutes to set up a LinkedIn account. Once you set up an account on LinkedIn find out what makes you marketable? It’s important to upload a professional profile picture (since profiles without proper pictures are not considered genuine). Write a powerful summary. Emphasizing your personal strengths and domain-based skills, this helps recruiters and your network to understand you as a professional.
  2. Follow companies and their employees: LinkedIn can be used as an important tool for researching organizations and people working for those organizations. It’s a good practice plan and decide some organizations you want to work for and sending a connection request to the people working for those organizations with a short personalized message. It’s also important to follow companies’ official pages to stay updated.
  3. Connect with LinkedIn groups: Connecting with groups with similar interest and help you expand your network. Groups allow you to take part in the discussion where you have the brilliant opportunity to exhibit your skills and knowledge about a particular topic. Groups also assist you to connect with key people of the popular industries. 
  4. Write articles about specialize area of your knowledge: If you can write well, it’s a great opportunity to write and post your articles on LinkedIn about your area of interest. It boosts your presence, showcases your knowledge and portrait your image of an intellectual person in your network. If you can’t write so well, find stories relevant to your field and post them with your brief comment.
  5. It can help you tap into industry news: Following the official pages of industries of your choice, while scrolling your timeline on LinkedIn you can stay updated about news and events in a particular industry. It’s a good practice to take important notes of your target industries. This will assist you at the time of preparation for the job interview.

Conclusion: There are almost endless benefits of LinkedIn. From a jobseeker’s perspective, LinkedIn is an effective tool to get ahead in the job search. So, ultimately you can build and maintain your network, search for jobs, and build your professional reputation through LinkedIn. In short, having a LinkedIn profile will help you a great deal in landing your dream job.