You’ve Gotten a Referral. Now What?

You just met with a former colleague and they have given you several names of people to contact for informational interviews.

Great! One in 12 informational interviews results in a job offer. You are on your way!

Struggling for words to get on the telephone? Cold calling is not your forte? If you’ve been working through our workshops then you are more prepared than may you think.

Got your elevator pitch down? t’s time to take that elevator pitch out of development and into implementation. If you are actively pursuing informational interviews, you’ve been fine tuning your elevator pitch. Not put it to good use.

One direct approach is to call the referral. Here’s a script to help you get going:

———————–  Suggested Phone Script  ———————–

Hello  (Your contact’s name), my name is (Your name). (Your referral’s name) suggested that I contact you.

[Your elevator pitch – the 10 second version]. I am calling as I am currently in career transition and [Your referral’s name] thought that you might be a great resource for advice as I research opportunities and business needs in [Your job search area].

Could we get together in the next week or two?

I would like to learn about your profession including key things that have helped you be successful throughout your career and the advice you might give me on my current career options. I appreciate that your time is valuable; could you meet me for [coffee or lunch] to exchange some ideas?

What date and time would work best for you? 

Date: ________________________

Time: ______________________

Location: ________________________________________________


Would you have some time now to answer a few questions or could we schedule a time this week or next week to meet? 

Date: ________________________      

Time: ______________________  

Location: ________________________________________________


You can reach me at [Your phone] or [Your email] to schedule a time to get together?

May I confirm your contact information?

Email Address: _______________________________________

Mobile Phone: _______________________________________

Office Phone: ________________________________________


Other: _____________________________________________

If not meeting face-to-face:

May I send you my resume so that you have my basic information to share with others? I would also appreciate your feedback and comments on my resume as it is key in communicating my talents and accomplishments as I explore my next career opportunity. If you pass my information on to someone else, please let me know so I may follow-up with them.  ___________________________________________________________________________________________


I look forward to [meeting or talking] [with or to] you soon.

[Your preferred sign-off.]

———————————-  End ————————————

Tips to Remember

  • Make this script your own.
  • Show us your unique personal brand.
  • Keep in mind you are asking for information at this stage – not a job.
  • Add a facilitator to your network; be a facilitator.
  • Offer your resources to your new contact.
  • Don’t make your new contact a “target”.  If they offer in your conversation that they are the hiring authority for an opportunity, then save “targeted” communications for the next step. In this scenario, we suggest you ask your contact what the process is for applying for the position.

Like any other activity you are learning to master, it gets easier after you “break the ice”.

It’s  about having a conversation – not an interrogation. Try it you’ll like it!




Copyright © M. P. Fuger, 2011

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