- Make a list of people you know - brainstorm
- Rank and order them by who you want to meet with first.
Contact them to set up a 15-20 minute informational interview
Meet with them
- (Tip: Set up your first couple of meetings with people you are at ease with so you can get practice and reach a comfort level with these types of meetings)
Send a Thank You note or email within 24 hours of your meeting
Contact referrals to schedule a 15-20 minute informational interview
Report back to people you met with to let them know how meetings with referrals went (a great way to maintain your visibility and re-connect)
Repeat Steps 4-7 until fully employed!
- Ask good questions
- Get referrals to other people
Let’s review – you’ve put together a list of all the people you know (family, friends, neighbors, classmates, faculty, etc.). You’ve prioritized the list, in order, from the first person you are going to contact to the last. Now, what do you say to set the stage for your meeting? (You can use this approach either in person, on the phone, or via email; whichever one you are most comfortable with).
Believe it or not, as a soon-to-be or recent graduate of UC Denver, you are in an ideal position to network. If you approach this as a way to gather some information to help you make some decisions about the direction of your career, it will be very easy for people to honor your request. Everyone who has ever been in your shoes will relate to your situation and be more than happy to meet with you.
Also, when you are referred to someone new, introduce yourself by saying that you recently met with so-and-so, and that this person suggested you contact them. Let them know that the reason you met with this person was to pick their brain about the _______ career field or industry, and that you are in the process of gathering information to help you make some decisions concerning your career path. Find out if they would be willing to meet with you for 15-20 minutes sometime in the next week or so to let you pick their brain as well. This approach is called a 30-second commercial. Click here for more information and examples of 30-second commercials.
An excellent website that will walk you, step by step, through the process of building your “elevator speech” is located at www.15secondpitch.com. Check it out!
WARNING #1: Some busy and well-intentioned people will try to accommodate you by offering to conduct the information meeting right then over the phone (if you call them that is…). Resist this trap! Your goal is to meet with each person face-to-face if at all possible. Part of the power of this process is putting a face with the name – increasing your visibility and memorability! Gracefully decline this offer by thanking them and saying that you are getting ready to walk into a meeting shortly and were calling to schedule a time to meet with them briefly for 15-20 minutes sometime in the next week or so.
WARNING #2: Some well-intentioned people will offer to pass your résumé along to others if you send it to them. Be careful with this one. Again, as soon as a résumé is introduced into this process, the whole dynamic shifts from information to job. In addition, you lose control of the process as soon as you pass your résumé along for someone to send to someone else. Now you put yourself in the position of either not knowing if they ever passed your résumé along, or you end up pestering them with questions like, “Did you send them the résumé yet?” “What did they think?” “Do they have any openings?”
The best way to handle this situation is to thank the person for their generous offer to send your résumé to others, and then acknowledge how busy that person is. Tell them that you would love to talk to the people they have in mind and have an information meeting with them. If that party is interested in your résumé you will be happy to provide one. The goal is to maintain control of the process and talk to as many people as you possibly can.
< 1 | 2 | 3 |4 >