Trouble Landing a Job Interview? Don't Ask for a Job, Ask For Information
As a young adult without much real world experience, trying to get a job interview may seem impossible in this dismal economy. However, trying to land an "informational interview" is a completely different story AND it may just be your ticket to getting that position you are seeking.
How did I get meetings with potential employers when I was on the job hunt? It was fairly simple. I wrote letters and made phone calls to the individuals and companies I was targeting, BUT I never inquired about a job opening. I explained my background as well as my passion for their mission and/or product and expressed that I would welcome the opportunity to meet with someone in their department to gain more information about the company.
I also mentioned that I would appreciate their personal insight regarding my current situation as well as any guidance they might have for a recent college graduate who would love to work for a company like their company in the near future.
Most of the letters and calls I made were indeed returned and resulted in a follow-up meeting. Now I had my foot in the door and I was able to subtly sell myself in person, which tends to be a lot easier than trying to successfully sell yourself on a résumé thrown into a large pile of other resumes.
Remember, even if the person who calls you in for the informational interview legitimately does not have a job opening to offer you, it's not a waste of your time. At the very least, if you market yourself well to that individual, you now have a new contact in the field to add to your networking list and that person will hopefully consider you when an opening becomes available.