We are huge advocates of informational interviewing in Career Services so we thought we would re-post a popular article written a couple of years ago. Maybe it will get you interested in doing an informational interview in the future:

Have you ever found yourself wondering, I know there are jobs out there that may be perfect that I’ve never heard of.  How do I find them? Most people ask this at one time or another.  There are many ways to research occupations, but one of the most effective is:  Informational Interviewing.

What is “informational interviewing”, you ask?  An informational interview is an interview that you initiate with someone in a field that interests you.  You ask the questions, because the purpose is to obtain information.  This is one of the best sources for gathering information about what’s happening in an occupation or an industry, because you’re talking to people actually working in the field.  You get to interact with someone and have a dialogue—something you can’t do with a computer screen. Informational Interviews allow you to:

  • explore careers and clarify your career goal
  • discover employment opportunities that are not advertised
  • expand your professional network
  • build confidence for your job interviews
  • access the most up-to-date career information
  • identify your professional strengths and weaknesses

Informational interviews can teach you about those mysterious job descriptions you’ve never heard of, and give you insider information about your field of interest.  And best of all, they can teach you what kinds of experiences you’ll need to give yourself a leg-up in the job market during these tough economic times!

To conduct an informational interview, follow these steps:  1) Identify the occupation or industry you wish to learn about, 2) Identify People to Interview 3) Prepare for the interview, 4) Arrange the Interview, 5) Follow Up.

More questions?  Come to the Career Center and meet with one of our career counselors.

Posted by Anne Lapour, Career Counselor

Question: Where would I put overseas experience on a resume?

Overseas experience can go under many sections, depending on your experience and the position you are applying for. If you mainly took classes abroad, I would put it under “Education” listed as

Study Abroad – Country – length of time (you could include the university if you want)

If you did an internship abroad, then I would put it under “Experience” and highlight what you did and the skills gained. If you studied abroad and did research, that could go under “Research Experience”. If the trip was more based on activities and travel, then it could go under “Activities”.

Overall, it really depends on what you want to highlight from your overseas experience  but whatever you decide, you only need to mention it once on the resume, you don’t want to list it under multiple sections.

Posted by Jen Busick, Career Advisor & Outreach Coordinator