If you want to advance in your career or need to explore careers as a new graduate or reinvention, you might want to have informational interviews. The late Richard N. Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute?, refers to these as conversations with an expert or specialist in an industry that interests you. It’s an opportunity to have a one to one dialogue.
There is certain etiquette that should be followed for an informational interview, including the established length of time, which might be 15 to 20 minutes. If you are able to create an agenda and send it in advance, that will set a professional tone and help keep the conversation on track.
Build rapport, discuss your needs, tap into the expert’s network, ask what you can do for them, offer contacts from your network, and follow up with a thank you.
So where might this start with a stranger that you don’t know? On LinkedIn, of course. Where might you send the follow up thank you? On LinkedIn, unless you can write a handwritten thank you and send by snail mail.
Here are a bunch of resources on informational interviews if you want to conduct one.
Happy networking! Remember that networking is the key to your career success.
Originally published in Vista.Today