What is the best way to network with companies you might want to work with in the future?
Think about doing "informational" interviews.
Once you know the space you wish to work in, ID the leaders in that space.
Write (yup) write to the CEO telling them of your background and interest in "what they do".
Affirm you're NOT looking for a job, just want to gain knowledge about the business - from the best!
Folks love to talk about themselves, and it is easier for them to say "yes" than if you wrote asking for a job!
What you learn will then make you better informed for the next "interview" and, when you go for a REAL interview, better informed that your competition!
Thanks for your service Kyle!
I want to reiterate what most of the others above have said, but consolidate it a bit:
Social Media is powerful!
- LinkedIn: Make sure you have a SOLID profile that lists all of your credentials, your hobbies, charitable interests, and possibly some recommendations. Once you have that, start connecting. Don't worry about "not knowing them". Just connect.
- Glassdoor: Make darn sure that you research the company you are looking at. They will research you through your resume, online searches, and interviews, so it's only right that you are prepared and know what to expect. This will also beef up your response in the interview when they ask "So what questions do you have for us...".
Mock Interviews: Practice Practice Practice. Don't be afraid to apply for a few "burner" positions - those that are not what you want or those that may be well below your qualifications. You are only trying to get an interview so that you can practice. Don't be afraid to reach out to some of us on here and ask who is willing to conduct an interview via telephone or Skype.
Look for companies that use programs such as TopGrading, CFI, CareerArchitect, or other interviewing programs. These folks will ask the "tougher" questions that you will find most companies adopting.
The main thing is: Reach out to people, be yourself, and be confident. Don't be afraid to ask your peers or contacts to introduce you to a 2nd or 3rd party contact at that dream company.
Once you know the Industry that you are interested in, get ahold of their trade organization and see if there is an associate membership. If there is one join or ask if they would consider sending you their trade magazine for a yearly subscription fee.
Read and study the industry and then go to the annual trade show or seminar for that industry. Walk the floor and attend all the seminars at that event. Have your personal business card with you and your resume. Be outgoing and ask well thought out questions to those you feel you wish to interact with in the future. You would be surprised how asking someone else's advice and or opinion opens doors to a bright future.
If you are on Linkden that is a good resource
Kyle, Please watch this video and then provide feedback and ask questions. "Informational interviewing with Steve Dalton", https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FsUm5noXEM
This is very simplistic answer, but looking at companies on glassdoor might be a great place to start. As far as engaging with a company once you have identified and researched it, below is something I posted on ACP a while ago.
Good luck! Paul
I've had the best luck doing my homework about the company and the people there. Once I identify who I'd like to talk with, I simply cold call. If I don't get them, I don't leave a message. If I get them, I typically phrase it as "Hi, my name is XXXX. I'm simply trying to learn more about a career in YYYY, and from my research your name keeps coming up. Do you have just a few minutes for me to ask you a couple questions? I know you're busy, so I'll make sure to be concise. If not isn't good, could I talk to you later or send an email, whatever is the most convenient for you."
The majority of the time, I've had positive responses. Make sure to have well thought out questions and keep them concise. Often if that goes well, they will offer more time (ideally they will let you take them to lunch (if local)).
There are a number of great ways to network within a company. To personally connect with employees at those companies, you can attend career fairs, industry events and ask for informational interviews.
Many professionals also network online via LinkedIn and other career specific sites. If you have not done so already, you can absolutely message advisors on the ACP Advisor Net Community section with questions about their industry or career path.
I have included several resources below. Business Insider provides general guidance that helps focus your networking and make it more productive. Optimize Yourself also produced a podcast about networking at professional events.
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