We all know that networking is one of the most effective ways to find a job, and that it’s a key strategy for getting your résumé in the hands of those who can help you. The problem is we don’t always know what to say or how to ask for help. That’s where informational interviews come in.
There are many ways to network. Asking for an informational interview is one common yet effective networking strategy for new college graduates and career changers alike. A convenient way to make initial contact with someone is via email. The following is an example of an email asking a new contact for an informational interview:
I was given your name by our mutual acquaintance, John Brown, in the hope that you would answer a few questions for me about working in the financial services industry. I would love to schedule a brief phone call with you (10 minutes or so) at a time convenient for you. I am looking to transition into the credit card processing industry, and your insights would be very helpful.
If you would be willing to speak with me, please let me know a couple of times next week that work for you. If you don’t have time for a call at this point, I understand.
- Keep your email brief and to the point. DO mention any mutual connection early on. DON’T include your whole life history.
- Remember, you’re asking this person to do you a favor. Informational interviews can be extremely helpful for several types of job seekers, including new college graduates or those looking to switch industries or career fields. Don’t waste their time.
- Depending on your comfort level and relationship with the person, ask to either schedule a phone call or to meet near their office for coffee.
- If you haven’t heard back after a week, it’s okay to send a follow-up email.
- If you don’t receive a response after a second email, move on to the next person on your list.