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Informational Interviewing & Networking – Learn How! Dinorah Meyer, Career Counselor Wednesday, April 23, 2014 5:30-7:00pm 652 Barrows
What you will learn: How to prepare for informational interviews and job networking How to find people How to approach people What to tell people about yourself Types of questions you can ask How to follow up
Agenda 1.Networking: Definition, Purposes/Benefits 2.Focus on Informational Interviewing 3.Focus on Networking for Job Search 4.Using LinkedIn for either
Networking What images, thoughts or feelings does the term “networking” conjure in your mind? How you do you feel about the idea of talking with strangers about what it’s like to do their work or about your job search?
Networking Broadly Defined An important career development skill that involves making connections and having “career conversations” with people for the purposes of –exploring careers or job searching –developing new professional contacts & relationships (incl. advocates/mentors); it takes time Networking ≠ using people You network every day…
People they know You Friends Family Co-Workers Teachers Community Working from your Inner Circle Outward Six Degrees of Separation
Networking: Purposes/Benefits Career Exploration (informational interviewing) When you are not sure what type of career or job you want to pursue Learn whether a given job, career path, or organization could be a "fit" for you Gain insider knowledge about… – Career fields/positions, incl. qualifications, training, skills, future potential – Companies/organizations, incl. culture, hiring trends, growth potential – Industries/industry trends
Informational Interviewing for Career Exploration (cont.) Emphasis: information gathering Does not require you to “sell” yourself Should not be mixed with job searching* May make sense after self-assessment
Networking: Purposes/Benefits (cont.) Job Search When in active search mode Highly effective, proactive method, esp. in tight market You should already know what you are targeting and what you offer Open doors to the “hidden” job market Promote professional visibility Practice interview skills, describe strengths, gain confidence Get advice to improve your job search effectiveness Set the stage for you to help others at a later date (networking is best when reciprocal)*
Who is in your network? Personal relationships: – Friends, immediate & extended family, neighbors, neighborhood connections (grocery clerk, cleaners), professional connections (doctor, dentist) Academic contacts: – Classmates, professors, advisors, administrators Current and former work relationships – Colleagues/co-workers, supervisors/managers, vendors
Who is in your network? (cont.) Community professionals (dentist, travel agent) Members of relevant professional associations (through publications, meetings, conferences) Club and community organizations (health club, cultural group) Websites, social networking sites, listservs College career center or alumni association
Informational Interviewing Steps* (handout) 1.Research the field, industry, organization* (websites) 2.Identify people to contact for interview or referral 3.Prepare questions 4.Develop a brief self-introduction* (script) 5.Make contact to set up meeting 6.Guide the interview; also go w/the flow 7.Always ask for referrals to others 8.Evaluate what you learned 9.Follow up – Thank you note, keeping person informed
Networking for a Job when setting up a meeting 1.Identify people to contact 2.Research the person, organization* (LinkedIn) 3.Prepare questions based on what you want to achieve 4.Develop a brief self-introduction* 5.Prepare more in depth material to share about yourself at the meeting (accomplishments, strengths) 6.Make contact to set up meeting 7.Guide the meeting but also go with the flow 8.Evaluate what you learned 9.Take action on any leads 10.Follow up – thank you note, keep person informed
Networking Communication – Approaches Prepare to convey… Who are you? What are you looking for? How do your skills and experience support your objective? I am, I can, I want* Tell me about yourself…* Career Success Stories*
At an Event or Scheduled Meeting… Entering a small group conversation: –Introduce yourself during a pause –Contribute to the existing conversation Ask open-ended questions Use active listening – show interest in them Ask follow-up questions Be prepared to talk about yourself – Point out when you have things in common – Balance your “air-time” with others in the group Be prepared to talk about areas of common interest: – Current events – Arts/entertainment/sports/hobbies/travel – Industry trends Don’t “school” the other person
Ending A Conversation (informational interviewing or job networking) For scheduled meetings – end on time Look for signs the other person is ready to conclude the conversation Be gracious in your exit – – “It was a pleasure speaking with you” – “Thank you for taking the time to talk with me” If appropriate, ask about best ways to follow up
Following Up Send a thank-you note Inform how their advice helped you Send information about areas of common interest If more questions come up If you have something to offer Be aware of the fine line between appropriate follow up and becoming a stalker!
Using LinkedIn For informational interviewing and job search Who has a profile? Who likes theirs? Creating a profile, essential elements Effective profiles: Examples
Enhancing your networking opportunities 100% complete profile 40x more opportunities Include a photo Build your network starting with people you know Use Linkedin.com/alumni How to get introduced Customize your connection requests Join LinkedIn Groups Help others (recommend, endorse, share articles, forward job opportunities)
Next week’s session: (Wed., 4/30/14) Develop personal “scripts” for reaching out to people Try out approaches to informational interviews and job networking in a comfortable social setting Get questions answered about these strategies and feedback about how you are coming across
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