Conduct informational interviews with:
- People who work in career areas you're interested in (e.g. industrial electrician, market researcher, civil engineer, customer service, administration)
- People who work in a setting you like (e.g., hospitals, insurance company, textile company, colleges, airlines)
- Almost anyone in a company – they can give you an inside view and suggest who to talk to next
- Others who share a common interest, enthusiasm, or involvement in some activity or lifestyle that appeals to you.
Your approach will depend on how well you know the person you are contacting, how you got her/his name, your area of work and your own comfort level. It is important to stress that you are primarily looking for advice and information. A job opportunity would be a welcome side-effect but is not the initial reason for setting up an information interview.
Even an unarranged encounter with someone (at the bus stop, at a party, while waiting in line) can be an excellent opportunity to network and to get valuable information for your job search.