Maybe you didn’t get that:
I LOVE INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEWS!
If there is any shortcut in a job search, it is doing informational interviews well. If you are looking for a “silver bullet,” look no further. This is it.
Thea Kelley is a savvy career services professional and friend. She recently wrote this post: Informational Interviews: 10 Tips for Success. Her model for an informational interview is more formal than mine is, and I say never, ever do number 3 on her list… but everything else is pretty solid.
Come up with your own system, and your own rules, but DO these! It’s fun, it can be immensely productive, and it can really help you get closer to someone who will have a big impact in your job search.
One thing she is missing, and it’s one of the most important parts of the interview, is asking for introductions to others. “Do you know anyone else in this company (or, this industry) that I should talk to?” Or, “Can you introduce me to any (insert job title here) here (at this company)?” Or, ask for introductions within the industry….
You go to build trust, which is her #1, and with that trust you should get to a point where they feel comfortable saying “sure, I’ll introduce you to one of my coworkers,” or someone they met at the association luncheon, or someone they know online, or someone at one of your target companies.
And then do it again, with that person.
Have real conversations… it’s not all about getting introductions, but that’s a big reason you are there.