Monday, February 15, 2010

Quick Information on Informational Interviewing

The informational interview can be a powerful networking tool for all levels of professionals, and particularly for people early in their careers. There is surprisingly little information that I could find on how to use informational interviewing in your job search and career progression, so I thought I would collect some links of good information in one place.

Informational Interviewing Tutorial: A Key Networking Tool

As a recruiter, I learned early on that people generally like to talk about themselves and their work. Targeted informational interviewing can be a great source of intelligence on target companies, types of jobs (when evaluating a career progression), and just to make useful professional connections. A full disclaimer, I have never done an informational interview, which is why I'm relying on the "experts" on the internet. There are some professions (legal, for example) where this is commonplace, however, I firmly think that this is one of the most underutilized career management tools available.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Networking Tools

**Editor's Note**
This is an article from CareerAlley published here courtesy of the Recruiting Blog Swap. I'll be periodically posting external content like this that seems interesting or useful.

Article Title: Job Search Marketing Toolkit - Networking
Author Byline: CareerAlley
Author Website:

Networking for job search is under-rated. For some of us (like me) there is nothing I like less than "bothering" a former co-worker, friend, relative or business associate to let them know that I am out of work and/or looking for a job. There are, of course, many people who don't have a problem with this.

There are a number of ways you can leverage your network without calling people as the first step (although this is not a bad way to start). Business social networks have been covered in a number of previous posts (quick links are listed below), so I won't cover that topic again in this post. I will, however, provide some basic Networking concepts and methods. But first some quick links to business social networks:The first myth of Networking is that you must have a Network of hundred's of people to have any hope of finding a job (take a look at LinkedIn these days). While the larger your Network the better your chances, it is really the quality of your Network that will improve your job search prospects.
  • Seven Networking Myths: Fact or Fiction? - This article, by Robert Half International and posted on covers some of the misconceptions regarding Networking. This is a very helpful article for those of you (like me) who are terrified about Networking. Just read the comment regarding the myth "You need to be an extrovert" and you will see what I mean. There are only 7 and they are relatively short so you should take the time to read it.
You've got Networking on your list (everyone tells you that this is a "must do") and you really do mean to get to it (because you feel like you are missing a trick and you feel guilty), but you just can't seem to get around to it - read on.
  • Top Ten Excuses Why People Don't Network - This article, on Certified Career Coaches, sounds like the read my mind for the article. This is just about every excuse I can think of (and have thought of). If this sounds familiar, read the article because it turns the excuses into actions for the right way to leverage your Network.
Okay, so now I've covered the myths and the excuses, but what about the best practice for Networking? There are plenty of ideas out there, and most of them are good (and some of them are a bit wacky). So now let's cover the "how to".
  • Successful Job Search Networking - How to Use Job Search Networking to Find a Job - Another article from, gives some helpful advice (as well as the elusive statistic on the percentage of jobs found by networking). Of course the days are gone where the only ways to network were by phone or in person. Email (according to the article) is a perfectly acceptable way to network (excellent, I don't actually have to speak with anyone). Certainly a worthwhile article to read and it includes additional links to relevant information.

  • What is Networking? - One of my personal favorites for advice and resources on job search, the Riley Guide provides this article. It tells you what networking is (and isn't) as well as how to use the Internet, Netiquette, where to network, making contact and additional links to relevant information (such as Enetworking).
Good luck in your search.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

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