Information interviews are one of the best kept secrets at a career seeker's disposal when conducting a competitive job search. The reasons they prove themselves useful are two-fold. First, information interviews offer serious career explorers an inside track regarding hidden job opportunities in a extremely volatile job market. It is a proven fact that a large percentage of employers elect to hire employee referrals before even considering applicants without an employee sponsor.
In fact, Payscale reports, "employers seem to prefer referred candidates over traditional applicants in terms of their fit with company culture and overall cost." The belief is that referred candidates are usually fully vetted. Because existing employees understand company culture, position requirements and ideal experience criteria, they are in the best position to refer quality candidates. Consequently, these individuals are immediately positioned to rapidly advance through the selection process.
Second, information interviews provide job seekers the opportunity to explore new career paths under the tutelage of industry veterans. It offers individuals a strategic outlet to either explore employment opportunities or simply learn more about a potential career path.
Further, information interviews produce an additional benefit in that they create a unique and compelling opportunity to cultivate new relationships and in doing so, build and leverage a powerful professional network.
What are some alternate ways informational interviews can be used to position you for career advancement? What examples do you have that demonstrate how industry leaders can be approached to schedule information interviews?
Article originally printed on Examiner.com by Margi Williams and approved for reprint.