Thursday, April 4, 2019

eNetworking - Expanding Your Online Network

Welcome to the second and final installment of eNetworking! In this post, we will discuss how to professionally and effectively reach out to people on LinkedIn to set up informational interviews.

Now that your digital profile, your brand, it's as sharp as a tack, it is time to start making new connections! You will foster and grow these connections through informational interviews. An informational interview is an opportunity in which a potential job seeker seeks advice on their career, the industry, and the corporate culture of a potential future workplace from a current employee
of a company. At one point or another, everyone has needed help with their career, so people are happy and willing to help those who ask for it by talking about their workplace or career path. The following steps will guide you through the process of making connections and handling these interviews.

STEP 1 - Reaching out
A. Target and research a company you are interested in and scroll through their employee list on LinkedIn. If a position or profile interests you, take a look!
B. Once you've found your employee of interest, click Connect and send InMail.
     a. Always send a message explaining why you’d like to connect and your background.

STEP 2 - Receiving a connection
A. Once the user has accepted your request, respond in a professional and timely manner asking to set up a phone call where you can learn from their experience and insights into the company.
     a. Phone calls are the most convenient way to connect with busy professionals.

STEP 3 - Nailing the informational interview
A. Always confirm your call the day before because people can forget and conflicts do come up.
B. Treat this phone call like an informal interview by following these tips.
     a. Prepare questions ahead of time
     b. Have a pen and pad to take notes
     c. Make sure your phone is charged and you will maintain cellular service
C. Communicating with professionals oftentimes strikes a balance between informal conversation and polite respect. Don’t be afraid to stray from ridged professional topics and conversational structure if you discover you both have something in common. A good rule of thumb is to mirror the demeanor of the person you’re speaking with.

STEP 4 - Follow up
A. Make sure to email them that night thanking them for their time and insight.
     a. Reference things from your conversation to show that you were listening and valued what they           said.
B. If you have already applied for a position at their company, mention it in your email. Companies have internal referral programs that often benefit employees who refer potential hires.
C. Now that this new connection is a part of your network, make sure to keep in touch! Reach out to your network every 3-4 months to keep them updated on your career, personal life, and ever-changing goals. This will help you strengthen your network so that you can support each other for years to come. By following these steps, you can develop a robust online network that will help you throughout your career! You may even have the chance to help others and support someone who is also trying to get their start.

If you have any questions about this article or need help phrasing any of your outreach; please contact Michael Goldin at

Michael Goldin
Graduate External Relations Assistant

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