writing an alum you don't know

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Anonymous User
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writing an alum you don't know

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:12 pm

I went to a small undergrad college and I just saw that an old alum was appointed to a leadership position in the DOJ in a division I'd like to work in. Is there a gracious way to write to this alum and make sure the connection is obvious and maybe get considered for an interview?

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Jsa725
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Re: writing an alum you don't know

Postby Jsa725 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:05 pm

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Last edited by Jsa725 on Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

truevines
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Re: writing an alum you don't know

Postby truevines » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I went to a small undergrad college and I just saw that an old alum was appointed to a leadership position in the DOJ in a division I'd like to work in. Is there a gracious way to write to this alum and make sure the connection is obvious and maybe get considered for an interview?


You can try something to the effect that you are in law school now and that you're very interested in how the work/life is in the DOJ and whether he is open for an informational lunch/dinner/coffee break.

xcountryjunkie
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Re: writing an alum you don't know

Postby xcountryjunkie » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:24 pm

truevines wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I went to a small undergrad college and I just saw that an old alum was appointed to a leadership position in the DOJ in a division I'd like to work in. Is there a gracious way to write to this alum and make sure the connection is obvious and maybe get considered for an interview?


You can try something to the effect that you are in law school now and that you're very interested in how the work/life is in the DOJ and whether he is open for an informational lunch/dinner/coffee break.


Do this. Be sure to just ask to meet for informational meeting not an explicit interview. It can easily turn into a real interview... I got a paying 1L summer gig this way.

Anonymous User
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Re: writing an alum you don't know

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:46 pm

OP here...The trouble is it has to be a cold letter hoping for an interview or a phone call because 1. i'm not in DC and 2. Im no longer in law school

Agent
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Re: writing an alum you don't know

Postby Agent » Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:54 am

If it seems like this person stays active on LinkedIn, I'd reach out that way before emailing. But not via an invitation to connect.

If you must initiate contact via email:

Name-drop your school in the subject line.

In the body: introduce yourself (restating your school connection), state your goal (this provides another connection), mention that you have a few specific questions about reaching that goal (do not list those questions), and request a phone meeting (state two large chunks of availability at least two working days in advance).

Be as concise as possible.

Edit: To clarify, stating your goal does not mean requesting an interview. It means mentioning that you aspire to [blank], where [blank] is something that the recipient has already achieved or is in the process of achieving.
Last edited by Agent on Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dingbat
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Re: writing an alum you don't know

Postby dingbat » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here...The trouble is it has to be a cold letter hoping for an interview or a phone call because 1. i'm not in DC and 2. Im no longer in law school

No.

Just shoot an email saying you also went to school X and are interested in DOJ and would s/he be so kind as to set up a call so you can ask him/her what the job is like or how he got there.
If you don't get a (positive) response, game over
Otherwise, start with the phone call and see how it goes and whether or not you can ask for more

Renzo
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Re: writing an alum you don't know

Postby Renzo » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:32 pm

The advice above about name-dropping the school in the subject line is good. It will maximize the chance they actually read the email. Just be direct, but also understand that the person is unlikely to move mountains to get you (a stranger with a tenuous connection) a job.

If a fellow alum called me, I would be happy to talk to them. If they seemed cool and we connected, I might try and help their application along or put them in touch with someone. BUT, if all they did was come in and grovel for a job, I would be unlikely to think they were a cool person I wanted to help out.




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