Sunday night I did a presentation to a group of people interested in what they could do to manage their own careers. I talked about a lot of cool ideas, like a mindset that I wish I would have had to network more effectively when I was in my job search.
One thing i didn’t talk about was the silver bullet of the job search. I’ve written about the silver bullet for job seekers before… I really don’t believe there is one. I mean, there is not one single thing that you can do right now, and then land your dream job (or, any job). The job search takes work, and there are many parts of this complex beast to finally land a job.
But if anything comes close, it is the informational interview. I remember talking to a career professional who said that if her clients did informational interviews all day long, they would likely land within 30 days.
Informational interviews should be fun. Doing them should be exhilarating, even if you are an introvert. You should get leads from most interviews you go to. You should strengthen the relationship with each person you talk to… sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. You should get great practice in saying who you are (the 30 second commercial), to the point where it sounds natural, and you sound confident.
Informational interviews get you away from your computer and in front of real people. They make you dress up nicer than pajamas. They put you in professional settings. They prepare you for real job interviews. They help you learn more about industries, positions, players in your area, opportunities. They put you in a position of knowing more about those things than most people.
There are no silver bullets, but if you can implement a good informational interview strategy, your job search might do a 180, and you might find you have a number of solid opportunities that you are chasing (or, that are chasing you!).
What are you waiting for?