An Informational Meeting can provide you with the opportunity to:
- Learn about an occupation, including skills required, to help you in your decision making
- Develop your communications skills and self-confidence in talking with professional people in a low-pressure meeting environment
- Learn the occupational “buzzwords” unique to the career field of your choice
- Gain valuable networking contacts to utilize when you are doing your actual job search
- Develop basic skills similar to a targeted job search, which you will be conducting later
Informational meetings work because most people:
- Enjoy talking about their jobs and career fields
- Are flattered that you ask their advice to assist you with your own career and future
- Are emphatic about career transitions because they have experienced them
- Like to help others because it makes them feel good
Prepare for the meeting
Know your goal
The primary objective of informational meetings is to investigate a specific career field so you can make a more informed career decision. Those decisions will help you choose a potential contact.
Find someone to interview
Check out Blugold Success Stories to search for an alumni in your area of interest. These alumni have volunteered to be a resource for you and answer your questions.
Another idea is to tap into your personal network. If you need help finding someone to do an informational meeting with, contact Career Services and schedule an appointment with a Career Counselor.
Preparation is key
Decide and plan ahead of time what you want to ask your contacts. Come with specific questions. Even though you are looking for information rather than a job, this same organization might have an opening in the future that you would be interested in. Being prepared will help you make a good first impression.
Meeting in Person?
Business casual dress is recommended. Remember that this is your chance to make a positive first impression on a professional in your career field. Things you should NOT wear: t-shirts, sports team jackets, sweatshirts, sweatpants, running clothes, athletic shoes or sandals, hats or caps of any kind, shorts, very short skirts or dresses, crop tops, bare shoulders or tight fitting clothing.
Prepare your e-mail carefully. You may want to limit the number of questions so the response not too lengthy for the contact. If you make a good impression, it is likely that he/she will offer to be available if you have additional questions.
Be sure to have someone you trust read the e-mail and check it for errors, professionalism, length, and content.
If you are communicating over the phone, dress nicely. This helps your confidence on the phone. Be sure to smile while you speak to the contact.
Write every contact you meet with a thank you letter as soon as possible. Mention something that you found particularly interesting or helpful. Some contacts may ask you to stay in touch so they can see how your search is going. Take advantage of this.