Here’s a secret: 70-80% of jobs are never posted. (Forbes, NPR) The vast majority of hiring is done by friends and acquaintances hiring other trusted friends and acquaintances. One of the greatest advantages of going to King’s, therefore, is the vast and diverse professional network you can build during your college years—from Wall Street to Broadway to Rock Center.
The People’s List
Finding the right people to meet can be an intimidating task. We created The People List to help.
The People List is a list of practitioners open to doing informational interviews—that is, open to sharing their career stories —with our students. Over 100 people—from upperclassmen to alumni to parents to friends of the college—are on the list. They work in a variety of industries: media, government, law, publishing, journalism, nonprofit, and more.
To get access to The People List and learn more about informational interviews, click here. (Note: You must sign-in with your tkc.edu email.)
KingsConnect, our student and alumni page on LinkedIn, is another great place to start networking. LinkedIn is far more than just a place to find internship and job postings; it’s social, too. When you find an opportunity that interests you, or you simply want to explore an industry or company, you can see who you know—or who your friends know—through KingsConnect and LinkedIn’s larger network, too.
Here’s how you start:
- Create your LinkedIn profile (tips):
- Request to join KingsConnect
People You Already Know
The first “person” on The People List is a blank profile image because we want you to realize that you already know people—family, friends, family friends, friends’ parents, faculty—who can help you explore different industries, roles, and companies. Use your semester breaks or weekends to take them to coffee and hear their stories. After all, they know your gifts and talents, hopes and dreams, interests and aptitudes.
During an Informational Interview
Using The People List, you can land an informational interview, but what do you do when you’re on one? An informational interview is about hearing the practitioner’s story, not landing your internship or job. You want to get to know them. A blogger at The New York Times offers some excellent starting questions:
- Can you tell me how you got to this position?
- What do you like most about what you do, and what would you change if you could?
- What does a typical career path look like in your industry?
- What are some of the biggest challenges facing your company and your industry today?
- What do you read—in print and online—to keep up with developments in your field?
- What’s a typical day like for you?
- What’s unique or differentiating about your company?
- How has writing a book (starting a blog, running a company, etc.) differed from your expectations? What have been your greatest moments and biggest challenges?
You can also consider asking your interviewee if he or she has any additional contacts that might be able to help you as you learn more about your potential career path.
After an Informational Interview
Once you’ve completed the interview, always send a thank-you note or email to the person who generously gave their time. They did you a favor and, if you would like them to remain a part of your network, you need to write and express your gratitude.
After you’ve written your note, take some time to think about the interview. Analyze what your contact said and think about how it might apply to your job or internship search.
In particular, you should reflect on your discussion to see if it stirred up any new insights or questions. You should also try to identify the traits that they mentioned figure out if they are among your strengths or weaknesses.
When an Informational Interview Turns Into a Job Interview
Occasionally, you might be in an informational interview that becomes a job interview. The other person might be so impressed with you that he or she asks you to interview for his or her company. If this happens, be prepared to make a decision about whether you want to move forward with pursuing the opportunity on the spot and do so confidently. You can either agree to an interview right away or you can say that you would like to make an appointment for a later date. Since you entered the meeting with the sole goal of obtaining information, you can sincerely state that as your main purpose for the day. Treating your professional superiors with respect earns you future opportunities if you know how to take advantage of them when they arise.