Informational interviews can play an integral role in your job search! You create the opportunity to talk with people to gain a better understanding of your field of interest and at the same time create an opportunity to market yourself and "get known" to employers (It's not surprising that hiring managers prefer to hire people who they know, or someone who they trust knows!). What is an informational interview? It is a half-hour meeting for which you prepare questions in advance and ask for career information, advice and referrals. The purpose is NOT to ask for a job, but to research an industry, organization, or job role.
The benefits are many! You gain an "insider's view" of the workplace, find out where you fit, and clarify your next steps. In addition you learn about skills needed to be effective and discover new opportunities. All this with the added bonus of building your confidence for a job interview!
Of course staying in touch after your meeting is key so that the employer will remeber you when an opportunity comes up. Keep your job search moving forward and enjoy meeting interesting professionals who are more than willing to help you by sharing information and advice. To get started, go to the CEC website featuring "How To" resources on networking and informational interviews. Also check out the Quint Careers tutorial on informational interviews and then consider setting up an appointment with a career coach.