The most effective method for finding a new job is through networking. In this online video, learn techniques to use during your informational interviews that will help you build an effective professional network.
- It's common knowledge that the most effective method for finding a new job is through networking. The question is, how can informational interviews help build your network? I'm not talking about a generic mailing list of casual references, I want to teach you techniques you can use during your informational interviews that will help you build an effective professional network. The main reason some people don't get referrals is simple, they don't ask for them.
An informational interview is a meeting with someone in your profession or industry. Your goals are to find out how they got their start, moved up the ladder, and achieved their current role, and to get referrals. Toward the end of your conversation, it's easy to ask who else do you recommend I talk to? If you were prepared with relevant questions and respected their time, your contacts will often provide you with recommendations or referrals to their business associates.
And if they feel you have a sincere interest in their career, they'll often offer to not only become a member of your network, but become one of your mentors as well. Most people want to help others, especially if they are pursuing the same career. During your informational interview, try to setup follow up contacts to discuss actions you promised to take. Those follow up contacts are another networking opportunity. If you're pursuing a specific career, it's easy to ask who was the best engineer at your last place of employment that I may be able to network with.
Everyone knows people who are great in their careers who could possibly open doors for you. During your informational interview, ask what professional or trade associations your contact supports. The websites of these associations often list their members. All those people are potential members of your professional network. Ask your contact if there are any networking events they would suggest you attend. If your contact suggests a specific event, chances are the people attending would be great networking prospects.
After your informational interview, increase your activities on social and professional networking sites. Many of your connections can be nurtured into becoming a part of your professional network. Start with LinkedIn. Your profile should be a mini sales letter explaining how people could benefit by connecting with you. Networking will continue to be one of the most effective ways to advance your career, which is why informational interviews are critical to your success.
More than likely, the door that's opened and leads to your next opportunity will be the result of one of your informational interviews.
LinkedIn Learning (Lynda.com) is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
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- Informational interview vs. job interview
- Selecting a specific occupation
- Identifying appropriate companies and contacts
- Scheduling an informational interview
- Preparing and researching before an interview
- Updating your résumé
- Asking good questions
- Listening and taking notes
- Following up
- Contacting referrals
- Building your network