Wednesday, February 24, 2016

It's Not About Who You Already Know, It's About Who You CAN Know

Last week online news magazine Slate ran an opinion piece on the uneven power of informational interviews. You may remember from Gary Miller’s blog post that an informational interview is a meeting that you request with someone whose career you admire. During the informational interview, you ask that person how she got started in the field and what advice she has for a student or recent Hofstra alumni like you, just starting out. At the end of the meeting, you ask who else in the field with which you should be talking. This is the most powerful way to job search! You receive the best advice, and, you now have professionals in your field who are interested in helping you in your career.

The Slate piece agreed with that assessment, but said it makes the hiring process unfair, giving those who seek out an informational interview an unfair advantage. I argue that is exactly the reason why informational interviews are critical.  We are not all born with a built-in professional network. The informational interview you can schedule with Hofstra alumni allows you to tap into the powerful network that being a Hofstra student provides for you. For first generation college students, students from lower socio-economic backgrounds, and students whose parents are unwilling to tap into their own networks to help, the informational interview provides that advantage that others already have.

This spring, tap into your built in Hofstra advantage! Check out the alumni feature on LinkedIn to see which alumni have positions you want, or careers you admire, or are just doing something really cool. Send a message, set up an informational interview, and see where your Hofstra network can take you.

Lisa Tandan
Director of Career Development and Assessment

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