This will mean they're a lot more likely to refer you to other working professionals in their industry, and they might even suggest your name when they hear about the multitude of jobs in their industry that never get posted online. Bingo.
How to set up an informational interview
"That's all fine and dandy," you may say, "but how in the world am I supposed to set one up? I don't know anybody! If I did, I'd probably have a job right now, or something."
You're right, you would. But that's OK.
Here's what you do. Go on LinkedIn to your college's alumni database. (You don't need a LinkedIn account, but you should get one if you want a full-time job.) Find someone who works in an industry you want to be a part of, and email them something like this:
Hello Mr. Super Professional,
My name is Anthony. I found you through SDSU's alumni database on LinkedIn. I saw that you've worked at , and . Since I graduated in 2012, I've become very passionate about the industry.
I'd love to get your expert opinion on some questions I have about the industry. Could I please take you out to coffee sometime for about 30 minutes and ask you some questions about the industry?
They're probably going to say yes. Know why? Because people love talking about themselves, and everyone wants to help college graduates because they're the cute, fluffy puppies of society. We can't help it.
Do this a lot. I'm your average college graduate, and I've done about six informational interviews in the past few months. I have another one on Tuesday. They're awesome. So far, I've received:
-- A job application for an incredible position not advertised anywhere.
-- A full-time mentor who wants to meet up every few weeks to help me out.
-- A ton of information about content writing and editing, an industry I'm passionate about.
-- Countless referrals to other professionals in the writing/editing industry.
The list goes on.
Sure, I apply to the jobs LinkedIn sends me and even to a Monster or Craigslist job or two, but informational interviews are taking me places.
You can jump on board, too. Stop applying for every job you've ever heard about and start getting ahead in your career. Informational interviews are the smart man's job-hunting tactic.
You're smart, right?
(Anthony Moore is a contributor to Brazen Careerist. He discusses post-college awesomeness on his website, stuffgradslike.com, and on his Twitter. He's not much different than you: roguishly attractive, dashingly sophisticated and a lover of fine eateries like Wendy's and Domino's. Brazen Careerist is a lifestyle and career blog for ambitious young professionals.)
(c) 2013 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Why informational interviews should be your favorite job-hunting tactic
Informational interview (November 11, 2013)