Informational Meetings: How To Set Up

EASILY FIND A GREAT CAREER

 

STEP-BY-STEP: TEMPLATE TO SET UP INFORMATIONAL MEETINGS- USING LINKEDIN, EMAIL, OR PHONE

 

NEVER SEARCH FOR A JOB AGAIN!!

 

This strategy I outline is by far the easiest, most enjoyable, and no pressure way to meet people working in the company and career you wish to work in.  You will be able to make lifelong friends and colleagues. Simply reach out to this group when it is time to find a job-they will find it for you.  85% of jobs are gotten through personal contacts and never advertised to the public.

It is a no pressure approach that is pleasant for both you and the person you are contacting.

You will immediately begin to make connections.  This strategy is relevant for all career seekers-those changing careers or those choosing to stay in their current career.  You will develop a large enough network of friends/colleagues in your field of work you will never have to do a full job search again.  When doing a job search in the future, you just reach out to your existing network of colleagues.


I would spend some time on LinkedIn learning the in’s and out’s.  The website is pretty self-explanatory.  Join groups that are in your chosen field.  Follow companies that interest you.  Search for people having “job titles” that interest you.  Search “content” that interests you, etc.. . Most of these searches can be done with a “free membership”.  LinkedIn changes often so I would investigate what the current premium memberships offers.  Paying a few dollars a month for a more efficient job search is a very small price to pay.


Your goal is to set up “informational meetings”with your chosen contacts. Below is an explanation I wrote on how to EASILY set up informational meetings with these contacts.

 

 

“Hi Paul- My name is Jane Smith.  I came across your name by doing a search for experts in the field of (immigration law, etc..) and a member of (Boston University Alumni Association, Immigration Law Foundation, etc…)

I would love to get your career advice for 15-20 minutes.

I have researched the field of (immigration law, etc..) and believe it could be a great lifelong career fit. I am working part-time as a (paralegal, etc..)  and am committed to making a (mid-career switch, finding a career where I can help others improve the quality of their lives, etc..)

You have impressive and extensive experience in the field of  (immigration law, etc..).  I was especially interested in your (personalize this to their specific experience/role, etc..)

Do you think I could pick your brain?  Love to learn more about your job and what motivated you to choose (immigration law, etc..) as a career and your (law school experience, etc..)?

I know you are a busy person.  I will not take more than 15-20 minutes of your time.

I can meet you for coffee or at your office…or wherever it’s convenient. I will work around your schedule!

Would it be possible for us to meet?  Perhaps this coming Wednesday or Thursday?”

 

Thank You-Jane

 

You can modify the above template depending on if you are in full Job Search Mode or  Mission/Career Investigation Mode

 

A) Job Search Mode:  Make changes to this template so it resonates your style, personality, current career level, how you first found this person, etc… The goal is ALWAYS to meet in person. If you can’t meet in person then look to do a phone or Skype meeting. You are looking for an “informational meeting” not a “job interview meeting”. People will respond much better to these sort of meeting requests. You can create a standard “LinkedIn/email template” but make sure to personalize a bit for each contact.

 

B) Mission/Career Investigation Mode:  This is when you are not actively looking for a job.  You are seeking information from the contact to determine if the specific career, industry or organization fits into your big/small career mission.  You would make changes to the above template discussing your desire to get a better understanding of the career, industry, or organization rather than saying it is your passion or that you are actively engaged in a job search

 

Goal is to get one informational meeting per day. That would be 5/week or 20/month. After 3 months you would now have 60 contacts in your field. Every week or two you send each of your 60 contacts a follow up email with an interesting and relevant industry article along with a synopsis of how you are doing in life, mission, and job search. The more relevant contacts you can call every week or two rather than email. In my experience it is impossible NOT to get a job if you have 25+ people in your field actively keeping an eye out for job opportunities.

 

ALWAYS ask your contacts if they can recommend another contact you can speak with. Once you get a job KEEP in contact with these people. At some point you will be looking for another job and you will need them again. Be generous with your time and give back to your contacts. Ask them if they want you to keep an eye on certain companies, people, roles as you are conducting your job search. Your job search may provide some value to them. In the beginning the primary thing you can give back is appreciation. Often times that is all people need.

 

C)  Create a standard list of questions you will ask these contacts. Here is a small sample:

-Discuss if the specific career, industry, and/or organization fits with your big/small career mission
-How did you get into the industry
-Advice for me to break into the industry and/or your company
-Do I have the very basic qualifications to get the job I am targeting?
-How can I build my resume/qualifications?
-How can I differentiate myself from the competition?
– Any people you recommend I should talk to in your company, other companies, your contacts
– Can I use your name when contacting the contacts you just gave me?
-Any further research I should do?
-What do you like/do not like about company, industry, role?
-The links  below contains informational interview questions and/or information about networking/career exploration:

 

http://www.iseek.org/jobs/infointerviews.html

 

Informational Interview Questions Additional

 

https://80000hours.org/career-guide/how-to-get-a-job/  It will take you about 30 minutes to read through this page.  It provides a very nice overview/video of the ENTIRE job search process-not just how to set up an informational interview. Halfway down the page there is a paragraph labeled “how to get referrals”.  In this paragraph you will see a link to “best email scripts we’ve found”-this is WORTH READING.

These informational interview questions should be tailored to your goals and the contact you are speaking with to quickly expand your network join all the industry groups in your chosen field/mission.

 

Below is a link that will help you search for industry groups that you can individually call/email and then search for their organization page on LinkedIn

 

http://www.careeronestop.org/businesscenter/professionalassociations/find-professional-associations.aspx

 

2 STRATEGIES FOR QUICKER RESULTS:

 

#1  CALL THE INDUSTRY GROUP ADMIN AND ASK WHAT MEMBERS OF THE ORGANIZATION WOULD BE WILLING TO SPEAK WITH YOU.  YOU CAN LEVERAGE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH INDUSTRY GROUP ADMIN TO SET UP A TIME FOR INFORMATIONAL MEETING WITH YOUR CHOSEN CONTACT

 

#2  CALL RATHER THAN EMAIL OR LINKEDIN MESSAGING CONTACTS

University Graduates: If you are a university graduate call the career services department. They can connect you with alumni in the field you wish to investigate.  Also join your university group on LinkedIn.  Alumni connections are powerful

 

80,000 Hours LinkedIn Group:  This is an active LinkedIn group.  You can post your request for “informational meetings”

LinkedIn will allow you to search using a number of parameters. For example if you want work as a “project manager” you could search for people that currently are Vice President level project managers, in your chosen field, in your chosen city. They would be a good target for an informational meeting. Some of the more advanced LinkedIn search parameters require a paid account. Probably in your interest to get a paid LinkedIn account during your job search.  It is in your best interest to spend a couple of hours studying all the LinkedIn features

 

C) How To Create A Professional LinkedIn Profile – Click on link below.  LinkedIn changes often-so make sure you edit your profile so it stays up to date. 

 

LinkedIn How To Create a Good Profile