This week when I told some college students about that warm, fuzzy feeling people have for fellow alumni, theyiStock_000014781494_Small just didn’t get it. I guess it’s one of those things you need to experience and not just talk about. The first time they see a door open for them in the business world as a result of that common bond, they’ll probably say, Hey, Wayne was right!

LinkedIn’s Alumni feature is the perfect place to begin new relationships with people who have walked the same hallowed halls. You won’t believe the incredible things you can now do with this feature.

There are two ways to access this feature. Scroll over the down arrow to the left of the search box on the top toolbar. Choose Universities and type in the name of the school Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 3.36.42 PMyou're interested in. When the school shows up in the menu below, click that entry–or you can just click the name of a school on anyone’s profile. Once you're on the University page, choose Students and Alumni.

Ca$h In On This Powerful Tool

Every school’s University page includes an awesome filtering system that helps you find the perfect fellow alumns to reach out to. Click Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 3.38.51 PMthe right arrow to gain access to all the filters.

The filters include:

  • Where they live
  • Where they work
  • What they do
  • What they studied
  • What they are skilled at
  • How are you connected

Once you have selected your filters, LinkedIn displays a mini profile for everyone who meets your filtering criteria. Without leaving the page, you can send a message to any first-degree connections or use a personalized message to connect with anyone on the list. Pretty cool, don’t you think? I am amazed that this is still free.

Some of the searching capabilities have always been available through Advanced People Searching, but it is much easier to do it here.

If you’ve been looking for a way to sort people by age range, this is Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 3.40.47 PMyour ticket. If you sell products or services to a targeted age group, use the dates attended or year graduated range feature on the top right to find alumni who are probably in that age range. Granted, it isn’t exactly an age search because not everyone gets an undergrad degree at age 22, but it should still provide some valuable information.

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 3.32.46 PMUse the Search this set keyword box to really zero in on the right alumns to reach out to.

Attention Recent or Soon-to-be Grads

Use the Alumni feature to figure out who you might want to network with to help you find that first great job. This feature, along with some of LinkedIn’s additional profile sections (Test Scores, Courses, Honors & Awards), will help you stand out from the crowd and discover the perfect job for you.

I think after you test drive the Alumni feature, it will become one of your favorites. And I love success stories. Let me know how reconnecting with fellow alums helps you and your business.