Trouble Landing a Job Interview? Don't Ask for a Job, Ask For Information
As a young adult without much real world experience, trying to get a job interview may seem impossible in this dismal economy. However, trying to land an "informational interview" is a completely different story AND it may just be your ticket to getting that position you are seeking.
How did I get meetings with potential employers when I was on the job hunt? It was fairly simple. I wrote letters and made phone calls to the individuals and companies I was targeting, BUT I never inquired about a job opening. I explained my background as well as my passion for their mission and/or product and expressed that I would welcome the opportunity to meet with someone in their department to gain more information about the company.
I also mentioned that I would appreciate their personal insight regarding my current situation as well as any guidance they might have for a recent college graduate who would love to work for a company like their company in the near future.
Most of the letters and calls I made were indeed returned and resulted in a follow-up meeting. Now I had my foot in the door and I was able to subtly sell myself in person, which tends to be a lot easier than trying to successfully sell yourself on a résumé thrown into a large pile of other resumes.
Remember, even if the person who calls you in for the informational interview legitimately does not have a job opening to offer you, it's not a waste of your time. At the very least, if you market yourself well to that individual, you now have a new contact in the field to add to your networking list and that person will hopefully consider you when an opening becomes available.
Lauren Brookmeyer is a communications director for a New York State Senator. During her recent college career, she has been recognized nationally for both her producing and reporting. Like many members of the Millennial Generation, Brookmeyer is working her very hardest to remain competitive in a tough economic climate. Graduating college a semester early with a journalism background, she worked a few months for a major news network in Manhattan. However, upon quickly discovering that the news world was simply not the right fit, Brookmeyer revamped her resume, coupled her experience in communications with her passion for politics, and transitioned into her current position. She will be offering up personal advice on how to hunt for a job and how to be successful once you land that job.