What is the purpose of an informational interview and should you bring your resume to one? Not sure how to follow up after one? This video will discuss how best practices for using an informational interview to help you obtain a job interview with the company you want. Follow along with Stacey to learn more.
- An informational interview can help you do a number of things, including get the job you want. An informational interview is not an informal interview with a company where you want to obtain a job. It is a way to obtain information about an industry, the corporate culture of a particular company, or general career knowledge that a person in a particular company is well-positioned to know. Want to know if it's really possible to earn six figures in a specific industry? Are you itching to find out what it's really like to work at a particular company? An informational interview will help you get the answers you seek.
The role your resume plays in an informational interview is completely dependent upon the person with whom you interview. It's not appropriate for you to present your resume in the hope that you will be offered an introduction to a hiring manager. It is also inappropriate for you to ask for a job. The purpose of the informational interview is to obtain information that will help you make career decisions, and ultimately, help you determine what information you should place on your resume for a particular career.
An informational interview can prevent you from spending hours crafting a resume for a company, and submitting an online application, only to never hear from that company because you don't meet a requirement you never knew about. Finding out about barriers to entry to a specific career is an excellent use of an informational interview. As an example, I had a client who liked to see candidates with an electrical engineering degree. I had many candidates with mechanical engineering degrees, who had on-the-job experience and could have been a fit for the role this client had, but they were specific.
They only wanted candidates with electrical engineering degrees. If they didn't have one, they wouldn't consider them, no matter how stellar the rest of their resume looked. Unless the candidate planned to go back to school to get an additional degree, it was a waste of time submitting an application for this particular job. So, respect the process, and soak up as much information as you can, and you may find that the person with whom you are interviewing will decide to help you along the way.
While you should not expect this assistance, anticipate it. So here are some tips. Have a resume available to review should the person ask to see one. Have your resume ready to send via email in case they ask for it in a follow-up conversation. Know the contents of your resume, so that when asked why you're interested in a particular field, you can discuss the skills and experience you have and how you think it relates to the job you want. After an informational interview, you should have a leg-up on your competition because most people won't bother to take this step, and the information you'll obtain will help you to further customize your resume to make you a standout candidate.
Stacey explains what to include and exclude on a resume and how to showcase your talents and best qualities. Using practical examples, Stacey walks through choosing the right format, tailoring information to match job requirements, and writing alternative resumes that include industry-specific information. Last, Stacey shows you how to deal with some common sore spots—like job hopping, lack of experience, or unemployment gaps—while concentrating on your experience.
- Explain how to present your experience on a resume.
- Identify where spell check will not catch mistakes.
- Recognize the proper way to present your dates of employment in your professional experience section.
- Recall when you will need a traditional resume in the entertainment business.
- Explain what you could do to fill in the void on your resume when you have been unemployed for over six months.
- Name the benefits of sending a handwritten thank-you note following an interview.
- Identify some things you can do to help you identify and eliminate red flags before applying for a job.