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Why Alumni Won't Help You

Q: How should we approach alumni? How direct can we be about looking for an internship or job?

Alumni can be a great source; they can help you understand the skills necessary for certain jobs and the culture of different firms. But, be careful with a direct sales pitch.

Wanting to learn from the alum and cultivating a relationship are fine, but you will rarely get anywhere by asking directly for a job or reference. To get to this point, you cannot be direct. If they like you and think you have potential, they might just be willing to recommend you. Focus on cultivating a relationship and let things evolve as they may.

Are you wondering How to Get Hired? Join the discussion on my Facebook Group Polished and ask me anything you have ever wondered about resumes, cover letters, interviews, and job hunting!


  1. From my friend Diane Foote on Facebook:

    In fact, a senior at my alma mater just today contacted me, and I was impressed with her email! Why? 1) It was well-written, with accurate grammar and no typos, 2) She explained how she got my contact information and gave me enough context to be able to reply appropriately, and 3) She did not ask me for a job, but couched her request in terms of research about my particular industry, how I got into it, and any advice I might have for her as a fellow liberal-arts grad. I responded promptly and we will have a phone conversation this week!

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