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Using Informational Interviews to Learn About a Job or Industry

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Informational interviews can be powerful tools for career exploration and growth. They offer a unique opportunity to gain insights from experienced professionals in your field of interest, enabling you to build industry knowledge, identify critical skills, and stay current with industry trends. In this article, we'll share best practices for conducting successful informational interviews and leveraging them to strengthen your resume and advance your career.

Tip #1 - Find the right contacts

Once you find a few contacts draft a short message.... then make is shorter!  Make sure it's to the point, friendly, and doesn't sound salesy. I sometimes have trouble making my written messages succinct. This is when I will leverage AI to trim down a message without losing the intention/purpose.

*Don't email an entire department; you'll lose the sincerity.

Tip #2 - Prepare your questions

It’s recommended that you keep your questions positive and light. Be flexible and let the conversation flow naturally to related or different [professional] topics. Refrain from "I heard" statements; it's not a gossip session. 

Tip #3 - Conduct the interview

Watch the clock, be mindful of the other person’s time, and give a 2-3 minute “warning” so you are both prepared to wrap up. Promise it will be appreciated. If the conversation goes well, the person may be open to a follow up conversation or even an in-person or virtual meeting.

Tip #4 - Follow up and update your resume

Don’t ever forget to timely say thank you by email or LinkedIn message. Specifically include what you appreciated and found to be valuable.

Enhance your resume by highlighting achievements and what you have to offer that aligns with desirable skills and qualifications for the job of interest.

Tip #5 - Repeat and expand

Gathering multiple perspectives from multiple people can be helpful to give you a broader and more unique point of view. Don't limit your opportunities.

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About Computer Coach

Computer Coach is a trusted and experienced technology training and career development center, providing comprehensive and customized training solutions to empower individuals and companies to succeed in the rapidly evolving tech industry. With a focus on both hard skills and soft skills development, our personalized approach sets us apart in the market, making us the preferred training partner for tech talent nationwide.

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