As part of the Job Search Program I talk a lot about the rights and wrongs of informational interviews. A major mistake people make is giving out a resume at the end (or at any time) of an informational interview.
Why is this a mistake? Aren’t you open to getting hired?
Yes, of course! But in my version of an informational interview you are having a peer-to-peer, colleague-to-colleague conversation with the other person. The minute you become a job seeker you change the dynamics of the relationship. They are in a position to help, you are in a position of hurt.
I’m not saying it’s bad or shameful to be a job seeker. Nor am I saying you need to hide it.
But for this 20 or 30 minutes I want you to remember who you are… a professional project manager, or analyst, or whatever you are. NOT just an unemployed person.
Even though you are not currently working you can still talk with expertise and authority about your field. You have expertise and experience and can have a great conversation. Don’t forget that.
Have a great conversation and then immediately hand them a resume and you go from expert and passionate to needy and desperate.
Maybe you are needy and desperate… but you don’t need to wear that on your sleeve.
So what do you do? Here’s how you have your cake and eat it too:
If they ask for your resume simply say “oh yeah, I’ll shoot that to you when I get back to my computer.”
This shows them that indeed you are there to have a really good conversation with them, not to use them and their position to try to get your resume in front of HR.
If they don’t ask for your resume, follow-up in an email about your meeting. I would NOT send a resume then… but continue the conversation, following-up on referrals, and maybe send a link to an article relevant to our conversation.
Can you talk about your job search? Sure. Can you ask about openings they know about? Sure. But don’t push a resume to them right away. There will be a perfect time for that, and it’s not at the very beginning of your conversation.