Tips & Advice
There are several methods of building a network of people to help in your search, for starters:
- Call prospective employers- after all they are the ones you might ultimately like to work for.
- Read magazines and newspapers geared towards the industry. Read something interesting? Contact the author
- Join up: Every industry has multiple professional associations and clubs. Membership in these clubs or participation in meetings is often open and a great way to meet individuals who are active leaders in the field.
- Connect with alumni! By joining the Alumni Association and social networks such as LinkedIn, you can reach out to former Emmanuel graduates who have walked in your shoes and now work in the field. You can learn from their challenges and successes.
- You should also be open and prepared to speak with anyone on the fly. You can develop your elevator interview speech quickly at: www.15secondpitch.com
Informational interviews can be the best way to build your network. As Dan Beaudry, author of "Power Ties" suggests, there are Ten Reasons Why Informational Interviews are Better than Regular Interviews:
1. Access Hidden Job Market
2. Avoid HR hiring rules
3. Interview whomever
4. Control meeting agenda
5. No background to justify
6. No company process to follow
7. Inspire creation of a job
8. Influence what the job looks like
9. Control follow-up
10. Can start immediately - right now
Here is an example of how you might reach out for an informational interview by email:
(Loosely adopted from Lindsey Pollak, author of "Getting from College to Career.")
Dear Mr. Jones,
I am a Biology major at Emmanuel College considering a career in medical research, and was hoping to connect with you in the hopes you might be willing to offer some advice. I'm particularly interested in hearing about your work in ______________ and how you got started in that area. May I take you out for coffee near your office, or perhaps call you to chat for twenty minutes or so?
Thank you in advance for your time and consideration, I will call you soon to follow up.
Questions you might ask during an informational interview:
1. Can you tell me about how you found and were hired for your current (first) position?
2. Can you describe what a typical day is like?
3. Tell me why you chose this field, would you choose this path again (why/why not?)
4. What does your company look for in the people they hire?
5. What part of your college career best prepared you for your current role?
6. Who were your mentors as you were first starting? How about now?
7. How would you recommend building a mentoring relationship?
8. What skills and experience are most highly sought in the field? What recommendations do you have for gaining that experience?
9. What are the typical entry-level positions- best for learning the field?
10. What should I be reading (professional journals) to stay on top of current trends?
11. What organizations should I belong to or events should I attend to network in the field?
12. Who do you admire in the field? Why?
13. What is your outlook on the field?
14. Do you have any specific advice for me based on my background?
15. Would you be willing to review my resume and offer you opinion on improving it?
16. Would you be willing to connect me with anyone else you know who might be willing to offer some advice?
An example of how you might say thank you following an informational interview:
Dear Dr. Jones,
Thank you for taking the time to meet with me yesterday to discuss career advice on entering the field. Your thoughts and suggestions were greatly helpful, and I especially appreciated your tip for joining the _____________ association so that I will receive their monthly publication. Thank you as well for connecting me to Susie Johnson, I intend to reach out to her today.
Thank you again for your time, and I look forward to staying in touch.
All my best,
- Include all of your contact information in your signature block, including phone and email
- Order business cards for free, include your college information: www.vistaprint.com or www.designyourowncard.com
- Clean up your Facebook and internet image so an employer doesn't see negative material- they will look.
- Build a LinkedIn profile that highlights accomplishments and bolsters networking opportunities: www.linkedin.com