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How do you reach out to someone within your network you're not that close with?

I recently applied for a job and noticed that someone within my LinkedIn network works for the company I applied to. This person and I were just classmates and maybe talked once or twice, I don't even think they remember.

But, we are connected and I wanted to reach out about my application and how I haven't heard back in 2+ weeks.

Would it still be ok to reach out? If so what exactly should I say since we were just classmates and not really friends?

Thank you comment icon Don't be afraid to reach out. If you remember that person it is likely they probably remember you as well. That is a great way to get your foot in the door Dean Riley
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From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

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4 answers


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Melissa’s Answer

Be brave! Send them a message via linkedin and say you appreciate being connected there and explain your career circumstance (looking, interested in xyz companies, etc.) and share that you applied for x role. Then ask if they have any insights about the org they can share, any suggestions for follow up on the application or any connections they could make for you. Good luck It is important that you are ok with them not replying or even saying they are not comfortable helping here-- totally worth the connection though. They may even have contacts at another company too
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Dana’s Answer

You should definitely reach out! Start out saying hey and mention where you remember them from. Then you could slowly move the topic to the job you applied for.
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Samantha’s Answer

Hi Sam,

I agree with the previous answer that you should try following up directly with the company but I also think it’s a great idea to try reaching out to this other person in your network. People reach out to their LinkedIn connections all the time. I’d recommend you remind them how you knew each other by including the name of the school where you were classmates and let them know that you’re interested in a position at their company and are wondering if they have any contacts in HR. Sometimes companies also have referral programs, so it may be to your former classmate’s benefit to help connect you to the right people. Additionally, reconnecting with this classmate may allow you to get tips about interviewing and hear more about the company from a current employee, which will be extremely helpful if you move forward in the recruiting process. Best of luck!
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Jen’s Answer

Hey Sam! I have 2 different pieces of advice for this question. First, I would start off by following up directly with the company you interviewed for. If you scheduled the interview via email, you can just respond off the latest email. Thank them for taking the time to speak with you and let them know you wanted to follow up to inquire if they reached a decision or had any information on the status of your application.
I think it's a great idea to reach out to your old classmate and ask them how they like the company and position that they are in. You can let them know you are in the process of applying, but they probably won't have too much information on your application status since that information is generally pretty confidential with HR.
Best of Luck!
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