Networking through informational interviews is all about connecting with others who share similarities with you–whether it’s being a Swattie to having similar career interests, this is an effective tool to learn about career pathways.
Its purpose isn’t to “schmooze” your way into an offer; rather it’s to identify people in your network (Swarthmore, personal, etc) who you can call upon for their knowledge. It’s up to you to apply that knowledge to make sure your application materials are competitive for that industry, organization or job function.
Conversation topics include:
Answers to specific questions
Insight about a job or internship announcement you’ve seen posted
Tips on how to gain experience or break into their line of work
Where to Network
Use LinkedIn and Alumni Directory to research and contact alumni to learn about career paths. Use LinkedIn to search and identify alumni, and then use the Alumni Directory to contact them.
Once you’ve identified alumni to connect with, email them to set up informational interviews. Info interviews should be used to learn about career paths, gain knowledge in a specific industry, organization, or job function; they aren’t used strictly for the purpose of “getting a job.” The info you gain from informational interviews should be used to better inform you on how to best prepare your application materials!
Make sure to send a “thank you” email letting your contact know you’re grateful for the time and info they shared with you. If you haven’t connected with them on LinkedIn yet, this would be an opportune time to do that as well. As your plans start to develop, keep them posted–your contacts like to know that their info helped lead you to an offer!
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