Cheat SheetsThe Informational Interview Cycle

As mentioned in the ebook Appendix for Giant of the Job Search, I have shared condensed resources for how to succeed using the job-search strategy called the “100 March.”

The backbone of the 100 March is the Informational Interview. The following three cheat sheets— The Informational Interview Cycle, How to Run a Call, and Surviving the Job Search—will help you get started.

The Informational Interview Cycle

Start with your own village. The 100 March begins right where you are, as long as you take a single action. Your first Informational Interviews should be with your “village”—friends, family, etc. When setting up these calls, emphasize that you are not asking for a job. Rather, you simply want to ask them questions and learn about their job. Tell them that you will come prepared and not waste their time.

Expand your 100 March by asking for Informational Interview referrals (see next: “wrap the call smoothly”) and by using social media, namely LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the key to scaling the 100 March beyond your “village.” Use LinkedIn to filter searches based on company, industry, city, and whatever else matters to you, in addition to searching within your alumni network and existing connections. Pay for LinkedIn Premium! Sample messaging:

Hi {Name} – I found your profile while searching for Texas Tech alumni at {Company}! I am a recent Tech graduate with Big Four accounting, military, and entrepreneurial experience. Do you have any availability to connect online or on the phone? I would love to learn more about your experience at {company}.

Be persistent when conducting cold outreach. My personal rules: always follow up at least once; self-deprecation is only charming in moderation; consider using multiple mediums of outreach; if you don’t hear back from someone, use your best judgment on when to stop reaching out; and, if someone says no, let it go. Do what feels right, but remember that the only wrong answer is no persistence at all.

Maintain your network. Thank people for their time a few days after an Informational Interview, especially if you speak to their referral. (After you land a job, return to people from your Informational Interviews to give them a status update and another thank you.)