Starting an Alumni Group

Most of us change jobs every 2-3 years. Have you wished you had a way to keep in touch with your former co-workers?

I started an online alumni group during the recession in January 2002 to help find new jobs for recently laid off co-workers. The group currently has over 400 members and is still a resource for sharing job leads. Most of us are still in the Chicago area at other companies. We provide the group with unadvertised job leads, pre-interview company intelligence and internal contacts.

Thai Festival 2010 - 17
Creative Commons License photo credit: garryknight

Is now the time to set up a group for your former co-workers? It’s easy to do with online groups. They work as a broadcast system to distribute emails to those who have “opted in” to the group. Check out the free group tools at Linkedin, Facebook, Yahoo groups or Google groups and start your own group today. Either site walks you through selecting the options to set up your group. From personal experience, I select “restrict membership” to maintain the groups focus. I also recommend requiring membership in the group before you can post messages. This reduces the chance of getting spam.

The amount of time required to maintain your group depends on the options you choose during set up, the number of new members and member activity level. The group owner can change these options to better suit the needs of the group and time available to administer membership. Additional moderators can be appointed to help with group maintenance.

Choosing LinkedIn Groups to Join

You asked, “How do I begin choosing LinkedIn groups?”

Linkedin
Creative Commons License photo credit: Coletivo Mambembe

LinkedIn groups provide a forum for those interested in a specific topic to share information and learn from each other. You can join an existing group or create your own group for a specific purpose. I created the “CyberLife Tutors Connectors” LinkedIn Group to share information on networking and jobs.

The owner of the group determines if the group is open to everyone or has restricted access requiring approval of the group manager. The group owner can pre approve or invite others to join the group.

Search in the group directory on a subject of interest to you. Review the search results to select groups to join. I read the description of the group and note the number of members. A useful national group or global group will have thousands of members. Groups bound to a geographic area might have hundreds of members.

You can choose up to 50 groups to join. Have fun!

%d bloggers like this: