There are two ways to contact alumni for internships. One is via email and the other is through LinkedIn.In your profile, you can add the words “searching for opportunities” and it will show all your connections on LinkedIn who are looking for an internship or a job. You can also write in the message field of your profile that you are searching for internships and ask them if they know any companies that need interns. In case they don’t know any companies, then suggest some places where you can find them like alumni networks or even social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter
How should I email alumni about job opportunities at their company?
- Erin’s answer is a brilliant guide. I would add a few more points:
- Use LinkedIn to your advantage. If you have common connections, then ask for an introduction from that person to the alumni member. Somebody higher in rank, or your professor doing it is all the better in terms of establishing your credibility.
- If you find it difficult to make small initial talk, you might want to search them up on Facebook and check their interests. While emailing them for advice, you can casually hint at something they like(by the way, great match yesterday, what a victory!). The idea is to stay casual and by the way mode.
- Do not blindly send your resume’ because it puts people off. Sell yourself first, at least try in that direction.
I actually don’t recommend asking for the job first.
I find that more of my students have success when they ask for advice first and start a conversation about the company and the job. So it would be more of an introductory email.
So you tell them how you found them (from your alumni board, from a professor from LinkedIn) then tell them that you’re emailing because you’re interested in working at their company and would love some advice on how to apply.
The key to any of these emails is to do a few things:
- Keep it short to demonstrate that you respect their time.
- Give them an opportunity to say no
- Make sure that you’re conveying your respect for them and that you value them
- Make sure that you’re not asking for any information that is readily available online
What I see that happens too often is that the writer doesn’t do the above and the alumni see a wall of text or something that they can’t answer and just says ‘apply online’ which doesn’t help you. If you know that they want you to apply online, you can ask “do you have any tips for the online application” or “I noticed there aren’t a lot of alumni from Clown College at the company, did you do anything to stand out?”
I was thinking of putting a template in here, but I’m hesitant to do so because I think that too many students make the mistake of taking templates verbatim and not customizing enough, so I’m hoping these tips can help you.
Lastly, if you’re uncertain about what to write, bring a few drafts (or email them) to career services, they are always going over letters like this and it’s perfectly acceptable to have them take a look before you email it out.