Cold-emailing Alumni

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spatel
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Cold-emailing Alumni

Postby spatel » Sat Oct 09, 2010 9:12 pm

How has anyone's past experience with reaching out to alumni worked in trying to get a foot in the door? I was planning on getting onto martindale and cold e-mailing some alum in my area to see if they could provide any guidance with my post grad job search/get me in touch with people who are hiring or even pass a resume along. If I should even bother doing so, what type of stuff should I include in an e-mail?

spatel
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Re: Cold-emailing Alumni

Postby spatel » Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:17 pm

.

Renzo
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Re: Cold-emailing Alumni

Postby Renzo » Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:25 am

Cold contacting alums and asking for jobs isn't going to be very productive. But, if you can identify some people who you would have actual, intelligent questions for (beyond "will you pass my resume along?"), contacting them for informational interviews is a solid plan. Think of it not as an extension of your job search, but as a chance to get advice and develop contacts that might potentially grow into friendships or mentor relationships.

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MartianManhunter
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Re: Cold-emailing Alumni

Postby MartianManhunter » Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:27 am

I've had nothing but success in doing so. The trick is to contact them for advice and information, not just to pass your resume along. Once you've built a relationship and established a rapport, they'll likely volunteer to help you in your career. Most alum are happy to talk to you and, as a rule of thumb, all lawyers like to talk about themselves.

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kalvano
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Re: Cold-emailing Alumni

Postby kalvano » Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:33 pm

Also, does your school maintain a listing of alumni who have volunteered or agreed to help out current students?

spatel
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Re: Cold-emailing Alumni

Postby spatel » Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:00 pm

kalvano wrote:Also, does your school maintain a listing of alumni who have volunteered or agreed to help out current students?



my school does keep a database but I'm not sure if they delineate as to who has helped in the past.

I got the contacts through a martindale search for people who went to my Ugrad and LS, there were 200 overlaps.

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kalvano
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Re: Cold-emailing Alumni

Postby kalvano » Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:02 pm

spatel wrote:
kalvano wrote:Also, does your school maintain a listing of alumni who have volunteered or agreed to help out current students?



my school does keep a database but I'm not sure if they delineate as to who has helped in the past.

I got the contacts through a martindale search for people who went to my Ugrad and LS, there were 200 overlaps.



You might check and see if they have people "on file" who are willing to help out.

Anonymous User
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Re: Cold-emailing Alumni

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:08 pm

MartianManhunter wrote:I've had nothing but success in doing so. The trick is to contact them for advice and information, not just to pass your resume along. Once you've built a relationship and established a rapport, they'll likely volunteer to help you in your career. Most alum are happy to talk to you and, as a rule of thumb, all lawyers like to talk about themselves.


100% agreed. I've landed over 10 interviews this season following the above strategy. Go get 'em!

spatel
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Re: Cold-emailing Alumni

Postby spatel » Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:16 pm

how many alum did you guys reach out to and how many responded.

When contacting alum did you just express your interest in their area of practice, or just seek advice regardless of their practice area. I'm asking because, naturally, I'm not interested in some of their practices but knowing how they got there may help me get to where I wanna go.

Anon.- how'd you about reaching out, any specific examples?

Anonymous User
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Re: Cold-emailing Alumni

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:12 pm

Bringing this thread back alive. I contact some alumns.. trying to make it sound like I was interested. How do you respond to an email "i sent your resume to several of my colleagues".

071816
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Re: Cold-emailing Alumni

Postby 071816 » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:19 pm

This thread is relevant to my interests. I am interested in trying to set up some informational interviews with alums from my school.

Any general advice from people who have done this successfully would be greatly appreciated.

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starchinkilt
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Re: Cold-emailing Alumni

Postby starchinkilt » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:34 pm

chimp wrote:This thread is relevant to my interests. I am interested in trying to set up some informational interviews with alums from my school.

Any general advice from people who have done this successfully would be greatly appreciated.


Just shoot them an e-mail mentioning you saw they are an alum of your school. Ask them if they wouldn't mind talking to you for 15 minutes or so on the phone about their work and experiences. Mention a recent development or something they worked on from their profile to show you actually want to talk to them. I also put in that I understand that you are busy, so feel free to say no.

Plenty of alumni have gotten back to me. And the ones who do get back to you are usually really enthusiastic and glad you reached out. I've also had people anywhere from V5 to local NLJ 250 firms respond, so don't be afraid to try and contact anyone.

ETA: Two of these phone calls have led to informational interviews. I then got interviews after submitting my materials, and the people interviewing me loved the fact that I reached out to people at their firm.

Anonymous User
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Re: Cold-emailing Alumni

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Bringing this thread back alive. I contact some alumns.. trying to make it sound like I was interested. How do you respond to an email "i sent your resume to several of my colleagues".


Poster again. I just want advice on a response to his return e-mail. I was trying to seem interested in his work, but his response was just "I forwarded your e-mail to several of my colleagues." which is great... but should i just respond thank you or what...

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kalvano
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Re: Cold-emailing Alumni

Postby kalvano » Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Bringing this thread back alive. I contact some alumns.. trying to make it sound like I was interested. How do you respond to an email "i sent your resume to several of my colleagues".


Poster again. I just want advice on a response to his return e-mail. I was trying to seem interested in his work, but his response was just "I forwarded your e-mail to several of my colleagues." which is great... but should i just respond thank you or what...



"Thank you very much, I appreciate that. If you have a few minutes sometime, I would love to ask you some questions about the firm and / or ____ that you recently worked on. Please let me know when is best for you."

071816
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Re: Cold-emailing Alumni

Postby 071816 » Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:46 pm

starchinkilt wrote:
chimp wrote:This thread is relevant to my interests. I am interested in trying to set up some informational interviews with alums from my school.

Any general advice from people who have done this successfully would be greatly appreciated.


Just shoot them an e-mail mentioning you saw they are an alum of your school. Ask them if they wouldn't mind talking to you for 15 minutes or so on the phone about their work and experiences. Mention a recent development or something they worked on from their profile to show you actually want to talk to them. I also put in that I understand that you are busy, so feel free to say no.

Plenty of alumni have gotten back to me. And the ones who do get back to you are usually really enthusiastic and glad you reached out. I've also had people anywhere from V5 to local NLJ 250 firms respond, so don't be afraid to try and contact anyone.

ETA: Two of these phone calls have led to informational interviews. I then got interviews after submitting my materials, and the people interviewing me loved the fact that I reached out to people at their firm.


Cool! Thanks for the response.
Last edited by 071816 on Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Lieut Kaffee
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Re: Cold-emailing Alumni

Postby Lieut Kaffee » Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:53 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Renzo wrote:Cold contacting alums and asking for jobs isn't going to be very productive. But, if you can identify some people who you would have actual, intelligent questions for (beyond "will you pass my resume along?"), contacting them for informational interviews is a solid plan. Think of it not as an extension of your job search, but as a chance to get advice and develop contacts that might potentially grow into friendships or mentor relationships.

CR.

I have a slightly different take, though the above is true. A good friend of mine is at a top firm in a big market that doesn't come to our OCI, and this strategy is why she got the job. In fact, it's largely the reason she ended up with 10 CB in 6 markets and 9 offers while using OCI only sparingly.

It's a little late to replicate her strategy though. She reached out to alums a couple months ago (on last year's calendar), scored some informational interviews, and ultimately either applied direct using standard "mass mail" procedure (usually at the suggestion of the alum, who then put in a word with the recruiter on her behalf) or simply ended up giving her resume to the alum who forwarded it to the proper channels. Pretty much a guaranteed screener (on the phone if that's all you can swing) and a huge boost for a CB.

In fact, while at many of the firms this worked for, she contacted an alum, the firm she ultimately chose stemmed from simply contacting someone who went to the "other" Chicago LS and was in a practice area she was interested in. The connection was "Hey we went to LS in the same general geographic area! Wanna talk?"

In short, I see it as a very effective way of turning mass mailing from a shot in the dark to a viable strategy.

Anonymous User
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Re: Cold-emailing Alumni

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:33 pm

Ok- cold emailed some alumni, had a 15 min informational talk over the phone. now what? how do I maintain the relationship + get an opportunity to pass my resume along?

also- better to contact partners or associates?

Anonymous User
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Re: Cold-emailing Alumni

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Ok- cold emailed some alumni, had a 15 min informational talk over the phone. now what? how do I maintain the relationship + get an opportunity to pass my resume along?

also- better to contact partners or associates?


Supposed to attach resume in original email or no?

Anonymous User
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Re: Cold-emailing Alumni

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:Ok- cold emailed some alumni, had a 15 min informational talk over the phone. now what? how do I maintain the relationship + get an opportunity to pass my resume along?

also- better to contact partners or associates?


a) You should have kept them on the line longer. I've had several tell me "send me your resume, I'll pass it along."

b) Partners, for sure. They have clout, know hiring partners, etcetera. I had three post-mass mail interviews come after interactions with partners who said they'd flag my resume, and one ding after a similar interaction with a junior associate who said she'd do the same.

Anonymous User
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Re: Cold-emailing Alumni

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:07 pm

Before CB, should I email one of the alumns? Call? Or stop by during the CB? Or email/call to make an appointment to chat after the CB?

Basically, is it best to contact them and ask them questions before the CB, or briefly meet with them while I am in the building CB'ing? I have nothing really to ask this particular person that couldn't ask any of my interviewers. But I do want to make contact.

Thanks.




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