The Power of the Informational Interview- Part Two
In our last issue we learned the difference between conducting a Random Job Search and utilizing the Informational Interview career search strategy. The key benefit of the Informational Interview is its success. Over 86% of career seekers who utilize this method will not only find a job, put will be placed in a career that they love!
The key to a successful Informational Interview is making contact. With the Random Job Search you send out a plethora of resumes to unsuspecting suspects, with limited chance for success. Why? Because they don’t know you and you are probably one of hundreds of other applicants.
With the Informational Interview you are on the offensive and you are seeking individuals to interview. Individuals that have already know something about you. Individuals that are already employed in the career or company that you are looking to move to.
It is important to understand that your overall goal is get information from these contacts. You ARE NOT seeking a job interview-Yet!
So how do you get to the contacts? What if you don’t know anyone in the career or company you want to move into?
Chances are that you will not have any direct contacts to make a connection to. So… you need to search for the contacts from people you do know. Outlined below are some of the key steps to making those contacts
Tell All of Your Direct Contacts
The first step is to let all of your direct contacts, friends, family, business acquaintances what you are up to. Be specific about your goals and tell them what you are looking for. “I am interested in working for ABC company and if you know of people who work there please let me know.” What you are doing is getting others involved in your career search. You are creating a “job search” team. This can be very uplifting especially if you are sincere about your requests. People are glad to help you and more importantly they know at least six to ten other people that have the contacts you need.
Search the Internet
Your search criteria is a bit different here. Again you are looking for a key contact that can assist you. Preferably in the Senior Management of the company. What you are looking for is company websites that have listings of their organizations. All you want to do at this point is get the names of key personnel either in Human Resources or the field that you are interested in. Obviously career job search sites like Canjobs.com are ideal starting points for you. Don’t worry if you do not know these people. We will show you how to make contact and gain an interview.
Browse Trade Magazines, Business Books,Visit Tradeshows
Find people you admire that are already doing what you want to be doing. Found local authors and those that may be farther away. Remember the interview can be conducted over the phone although a face to face meeting is your best option.
Develop Your Target List
Once you have started to gather key contacts and individuals you now want to prioritize these in the following order:
- Contacts that someone you know has referred to you.
- Contacts that you may be able to find someone who can refer you.
- Contacts that you do not know or know of any contacts who will refer you.
Obviously your chances of success are greater if you are placing a call to someone who already knows you will be calling.
In our next issue we will go over how to make the request and setting up the interview.
Next Issue- January 12, 2004- “Gaining the Interview”
Jamie Pritchard is Career and Life Spirit Coach and founder of Aspire Higher Enterprises Inc. Aspire Higher works with business and individuals to help them achieve greater success, live in more balance and gain more self-awareness to live a career and life of passion. For more information visit us at www.aspirehigher.ca or to book Jamie as a Keynote Speaker or to discuss your coaching needs visit us directly at 519-766-9001. We welcome your comments and questions please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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