As a job seeker, stepping outside your comfort zone is to your benefit. For some that may mean going beyond a quick internet search. Participating in networking events, attending job fairs or volunteering in your anticipated field are great proactive alternatives.
The informational interview is another approach that can give you invaluable knowledge and boost your job search. It is a one-on-one conversation with a professional at a more advanced period in their career. Although different from a job interview and more informal, it is just as important. Check out three reasons to do an informational interview below.
Researching the career and employer of your interest is one of the most important steps for a job seeker. You want to make sure you're heading in the right direction. An informational interview can give you information that you can't find on the internet. With the right questions, you can gain a more realistic perspective on the work and environment. Also, you have the opportunity to learn detailed and specific information about your preferred job or employer. Find out about various company culture, pros and cons about the work and ask about skills and certifications that will help you to be successful in the field.
The informational interview can be viewed as another networking opportunity. Get up to date on industry news and find out about prospective job openings or get your foot in the door of your desired choice. You may even get a referral. Your interviewer may also be a potential mentor. If probable, you can request to reconnect later with follow-up questions, to seek further advice, have your resume critiqued and get job seeker tips.
Make the most of your time by expanding your horizon. Gain a broader perspective and understanding by tapping into your interviewer's wisdom. You can do this by asking the professional you are meeting with about their different experiences. Ask about things they wish they knew when they were in the first stages in their career. What lessons and truths have they learned along the way?
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