Posts Tagged ‘Informational Interview’

Resume and Informational Interview Dos and Don’ts

Sunday, June 29th, 2008
[display_podcast] After seeing a number of resumes and students for informational interviews, Bryan Blaise, Kevin Saghy, Joseph Tateoka and I wanted to share a few important how-tos. RESUME DOs
  • Limit your resume to one page
  • Use bullets, not asterisks
  • Link to your LinkedIn profile and/or website
  • On your cover letter, add hyperlinks to relevant organizations, etc.
  • Take the time to gear your resume toward the job you are applying for (a resume is not one-size fits all)
  • Show that you are a great writer and can be concise
  • Put your most important information upfront; think of the inverted pyramid you use for writing
    1. Work experience
    2. Relevant volunteer or internship experience
    3. Any other activities you've done that can play up a certain area of expertise or strength
    4. Where you went to school
    5. Your GPA (if it is good)
RESUME DON'Ts
  • Don't list your "connections," especially people you have only met once
  • Don't make margins smaller than 1/2 inch (and even that is pushing it)
  • Font sizes shouldn't go above 12-14 or below 9
  • No word Art
  • NEVER use emoticons or exclamation points
INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEW DOs
  • Do your research so that you are prepared to go in and ask good questions
  • Arrive prepared; dress nicely and have your resume printed out
  • Even if you talk to multiple members of the team, you can still ask them the same questions; you may get different answers from different people
  • Even though this isn't a formal interview, remember that this is still your chance to impress the team; they often regroup after your meeting to talk about you and may decide to consider you as a candidate
  • Use this as an opportunity to ask the questions you might not ask in a normal interview (For example, get feedback on your resume

Public Relations Students, Professors and Practictioners Come Together on PROpenMic.org

Sunday, April 20th, 2008
If you're a public relations student looking for an awesome resource to connect with other students, professors and practitioners in the public relations industry, check out PROpenMic, created via Ning. Here's your opportunity to get out there and connect, ask questions and take the conversation beyond your own university. (As for you professor/professional types, here's your chance to share your hard-earned knowledge with up and coming communicators). And why not take it a step further—remember when I was talking about setting up informational interviews? Well, here's your chance to find a professional near you and set up a time to get together to ask some of those questions in person.

How to Set up an Informational Interview

Saturday, April 5th, 2008
So the end of your life as a college student is rapidly approaching, and people are starting to ask the dreaded question—what are your plans after graduation? I recently went to a dinner with a group of soon-to-be college grads, and I was surprised by how many of them have never taken advantage of informational interviews. Before you start freaking out that you don't know where you'll be in a month, consider setting up some informational interviews to build relationships and get advice directly from people in your business of interest. This may have been the single-most valuable resource to me when I was a college student. It's amazing how many people will take the time to offer up their great advice if you only ask. Don't know where to start? How about here: 1. Make a list. Write down the companies that you would love to work for. Make sure you do your research so you really know the companies before you start reaching out and asking to set up the informational interviews. 2. Reach out. When you are ready to reach out, one option I recommend is checking with a career counselor to see if you can get in touch with alumni from your university. (Who doesn't want to help one of their own?) Not in college anymore? Another option is to search for the company name on LinkedIn—this is a great resource because you can browse through titles and find the person who is most relevant to your interests, then send a message to that person directly through LinkedIn. 3. Don't get discouraged. Be aware that not everyone will get back to you. Sometimes professionals just get so caught up in their work that these things slip by. Still, they've all been in your shoes at one point, and most people would love to share what they've learned. 4. Plan your trip. If these companies are in another city or state, you may have to invest in a trip. I know paying for travel on a college student's budget is not ideal. Here's one idea—when I went to New York City for a career conference my senior year, I convinced a few friends in my major to come along&mdashlwe were able to split hotel and cab fares, which made it much more reasonable. 5. Dress appropriately. This may not be an official job interview, but you want to make a good impression. You may have the opportunity to build a valuable relationship or mentor for the future. 6. Enjoy the conversation. When I used to go to informational interviews, I usually started by asking for a person's story. "What do you do and how did you get to where you are today?" will usually kick start a great conversation. 7. Send a thank you. Follow up with a thank you to let them know you really appreciate the time they have taken to talk with you. It's always nice if you can point out a few of the points you took away from the conversation.