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Speak with Professionals about Their Careers

(A.K.A - Informational Interviewing and Networking)

What is Informational Interviewing and Networking?

Informational interviewing and networking is an approach to career exploration and job hunting where you build relationships with people in targeted career/job areas. These relationships can result in new knowledge about career fields as well as discovering opportunities for internships and full-time positions. You may speak with some people only once and with others you may develop long-term relationships. Research shows that 85% of job opportunities are never advertised. Informational interviewing and networking can be your key to this "hidden job market".

Why do Informational Interviewing and Networking?

  • Learn about the day-to-day aspects of careers, occupational fields, and work environments.

  • Learn about internships, jobs, and volunteer opportunities. Remember, informational interviews are not job interviews. Handled appropriately, you can ask about how to locate and pursue employment opportunities or increase your marketability.

  • Learn how to make career decisions and get feedback from others about your skills and careers they see as a fit for you. Learn to describe what you seek from a career. This level of informational interviewing is less formal and more easily done with friends/family.

  • Identify additional contacts by asking, "Who else would you recommend I speak with?" or "Do you know anyone in ___ career that might be willing to talk to me?"

  • Maintain career knowledge and stay competitive in professional circles. Informational interviewing and networking is a professional skill that should be used throughout your career both formally and informally. Successful professionals learn about new opportunities using these skills.

How to do Informational Interviewing and Networking

  • Identifying people to informational interview and network with.
  • Preparing for the informational interview.
  • Arranging the informational interview.
  • Conducting the informational interview.
  • Following up after the informational interview.