Track Your Young Alumni – Get Undergraduates to Use LinkedIn

As students graduate the pursuit for these young alumni begins. Tracking recent graduates is notoriously difficult as they move away from their alma mater. New careers begin, contact information becomes outdated, many move locations, some marry and change names – a number of changes happen in a relatively short period of time that can make keeping these alumni engaged quite difficult.

Don’t let these alumni become part of your lost alumni list!

Get students engaged before they even leave campus. How? Use LinkedIn. Statistics show that less than 20% of LinkedIn users are 18-24 years old, meaning there is vast room for improvement. [1]

For departments such as alumni relations, advancement services or institutional research, the advantages of having your young alumni on LinkedIn is clear – you will have access to their self-reported alumni data – including otherwise hard to track details that change in the months and years following graduation. Their LinkedIn profiles include current employment details and location, but also volunteer interests, group memberships, postgraduate education details and more.

This type of data not only makes outcomes reports and alumni engagement possible, it also gives various departments the ability to do so with more success and accuracy. There are more precise outcome reports that can be run, strategic campaigns for alumni engagement to be planned, tailored alumni event invitations to be sent and more. 

Convincing Students of The Value of LinkedIn

Digital Resumes are Important! According to a 2010 Jobvite survey, 78.3% of hiring companies used LinkedIn to find potential candidates and/or to post job openings. Nearly 90% of these companies actually hired people through LinkedIn [1].

Having a digital resume with LinkedIn is a necessity for landing a good position in the current job market. Make sure that your students know this! Offer advice on how to build a great LinkedIn profile, just as you offer help for resume or CV-building. For some helpful tips, take a look at this article on Mashable ‘What Every College Student Should Post on LinkedIn‘.

Companies Are Looking For New Talent

Many recent graduates underestimate their ability to land great jobs with a LinkedIn profile because of their lack of work experience. But they shouldn’t hesitate – there are companies out there looking for new talent before students even have a diploma in hand [2]. Even more motivation for undergraduates to begin putting together a stellar LinkedIn profile prior to leaving your institution.

Benefits of Socializing and Networking

And lastly, if students aren’t drawn to LinkedIn with the previous two points, perhaps the potential of keeping up with their their undergrad relationships could convince them. Although other sources of social media such as Facebook or Instagram tend to be the leaders for socializing, LinkedIn offers more connections based on academic or school-related groups, not to mention killer networking for postgraduate work or future careers. [3]

So, make it a point to have your students familiarize themselves with LinkedIn long before they have left campus. You are doing them a huge favor and helping your institution too. By keeping track of alumni as they venture out into new cities, careers and industries, your institution will have the necessary data to continue improving and innovating your school’s offerings.


Sources:

[1] Why New College Grads Should Use LinkedIn, Debkrier.com

[2] What Every College Student Should Post on LinkedIn, Mashable.com

[3] Using LinkedIn as a Graduate or Undergraduate, Aurecon Group

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