12 Tips for Conducting an Effective Information

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12 Tips for Conducting an Effective Information/Referral Meeting 1. If your networking target is someone you have never met, you may decide to send a letter first, stating your purpose and mentioning the name of the person who referred you (if possible). 2. When telephoning to set a time to meet, always ask if your target has a moment to talk. If not, ask when is a better time to call back. 3. Begin your conversation by briefly reviewing your reason for calling: "As you may recall from the letter I sent, I am in the process of changing careers, and John Smith suggested you might be able to give me some advice... " 4. When you meet in person, always explain again your reason for meeting. Do this right away to eliminate any confusion and to reassure your new contact that you are not there asking for a job. 5. Bring a prepared list of questions and paper and pen for note-taking. Ask: "Is it all right if I jot down some notes as we talk?" And be prepared to stop doing so if the contact seems uncomfortable. 6. Ask some questions about the person to whom you are speaking. You can help establish good rapport by getting people to talk about themselves. 7. If you asked for 30 minutes, keep it to 30 minutes. Say something like: "I promised you that I would only take 30 minutes, and our time is just about up." You will get a sense of whether or not the contact is willing give you longer. 8. If you are asked for a resume during the meeting, use your judgment. The contact might actually be getting quite interested in you and you could look ill-prepared if you did not have such a vital job-hunting tool with you. Alternatively, if the purpose of this meeting is to help you refine your resume, say so, and that you will be happy to send the final version as soon as you can. 9. When ending the meeting, give the appropriate thanks and then inquire if there is someone else they could recommend that might be useful for you to contact for additional advice and information. Be prepared...
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