Here’s a comment from a job seeker that I received recently:
Dear Laura: Although I don’t have any interviews set up, I do have a new opportunity. A fellow I knew in college (not well, he transferred to another school) has given me the names of two people to contact at two different associations. He said to send them my resume and tell a little about myself and that he would shoot them an email letting them know to expect to hear from me.
The problem is:
- I’m fine with everything except that one sentence saying thanks, you may not have any openings at this time….. I’m stuck with that one sentence! Help!
Laura: Great question! This is the best time to sit down with a hiring manager: when there is NO job! Less pressure, no need to try to convince him/her that you are right for the specific opening, etc. But, I certainly understand why this would still feel daunting. Perhaps you fear that it might be uncovered that your motive to meet is less than pure; and will uncover that you really are a job seeker (oh no!) and, as a result, will have no reason to agree to a meeting (there is no job to discuss, after all). Being a job seeker is nothing to hide. And, going after a company with no open jobs is nothing to be ashamed of!
In some cases, you may get a no when there is no active job posting. In this case, however, you are a “warm lead,” meaning that your friend has pretty much helped you make this informational interview a slam-dunk. After you’ve introduced yourself as a friend of a friend, I would say: “I know your time is valuable, Mr. Hiring Manager. I would truly appreciate a few minutes of your time to meet with you to discuss a possible future fit, learn more about the exciting your company is doing in the (insert industry here) space, and I am anxious to hear how your group fits in. I very much look forward to speaking with you.” Voila!