How can you get your foot in the door while you are at home over winter break? How about setting up some informational interviews? This is a great way to get your name out there with potential employers while also gaining valuable insight into what it looks like in the “real world.” Here are some tips for informational interviews:
Avoid the ‘cold call’: Try to find someone you know who knows someone at a company for which you are interested in working. It is always best to have a referral than to make the cold call.
Plan carefully: Be flexible with meeting times since the person you are meeting with is likely to be very busy and they are doing this as a favor to you.
Care about more than just job openings: This is a great chance to learn about the culture and everyday life of a company and its employees. Even if there isn’t a job opening at the company right now, these meetings can still be very valuable.
Ask a lot of questions about culture: Some examples are:
How long is a normal work day?
Do most people only communicate by email?
Do clients get your personal cell phone number?
Do people “feel bad” about taking vacation time?
How long do most people stay with the company?
Determine next steps: If after the meeting you are still interested in the company, set expectations for a follow up with your interviewee. Let them know that you will send your resume, ask for a tour of the company, or ask if there is anyone else at the company that you should contact about job openings. Let them know that you will stay in touch with them and thank them for their time.
Follow up: Make sure you follow through on your promises that you made when you were determining your next steps. Send your resume if you promised to do that, follow up with any other contacts that they suggested to connect with. And most importantly, make sure to send a thank you note to let them know that you appreciate the time they spent with you.
To read more about these tips, please visit: http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/10247.aspx.
Enjoy your break and take advantage of this extra time that you have to do some job search research! See you in January!