Today’s post was contributed by Peer Career Coach Adam Denchfield. See Adam in our Hermann Hall office or at a Career Corner campus outpost for more editorial and professional expertise!
Whether you are graduating soon or interested in an internship, you will need to eventually research a company you are interested in working for. This process can be gone about in various ways, though one thing is for sure: don’t just Google “jobs in Chicago” and assume you’ll get optimal results!
A key aspect of first getting involved with a company is to actually contact them. Setting up an informational interview or a tour of their facilities is a great way to not only get to know some part of the team, but to also learn about their product/service and ask them questions not answered on their website. To set up a tour, most of the time it is as easy as calling the contact number for the company (at the location you want) and asking to set up a tour.
However, for an informational interview, this will likely be set up by contacting the person you want to interview directly. You can find a person to interview by looking through LinkedIn or looking at the company staff list. For contacting this person, it can be done using LinkedIn, if you are connected to the person through someone else. If LinkedIn is not an option, direct contact also works. Your first contact should be through the phone. You can call their office/work number listed on the company website, or call the general contact number and ask to be transferred to the person in particular.
Tours and informational interviews are both modest but effective ways to be exposed to and become a part of the company culture before you apply for a job or internship. This can affect what kind of cover letter you write, the details included on your resume, and how well you do in your interview. Depending on who you toured with or did the informational interview with, you could also manage to get your resume directly to the hiring manager’s hands, as knowing a person in the company beforehand is a great connection to have.
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