Geneseo Career Partners

User Tips


Table of Contents:
General Tips | Sample Questions | Sample Information Interview
Sample Networking Letter
Sample Script to Schedule a Visit
Telephone script to conduct/schedule a phone Interview
Thank You Letter Guidelines and Sample

Welcome to Geneseo's Career Partners database!

Career Partners are Geneseo alumni who have agreed to serve as a resource for you. Career Partners may choose to share information about what they do, the organization they work for, the place they live, the graduate programs they have attended, or hiring contacts within their field/organization.

Since you will most likely be having a conversation with your alumni connection, whether via e-mail, phone, or in person, it’s important for you to be prepared. Consider taking the time to assess your skills, interests and values as they relate to your career; research your career field(s) of interest; and formulate some specific questions for the Career Partner based on your findings.

Some suggestions to help identify your skills, interests and values:

  • Schedule an appointment with a Department of Career Development counselor and consider taking a career assessment/inventory.
  • Analyze past accomplishments and experiences to identify the skills and abilities you demonstrated. Think about feedback that you have received from peers, faculty and supervisors regarding your talents.
  • Ask yourself what you like to do academically, at work, and with your free time.
  • Think about what you want out of a career. For example, some people want a position where they can help others, are a leader, or do a variety of different work each day.

You may use the Career Partners database to simply gather information about a potential career field. This is known as Informational Interviewing. In this type of informal interview, you might ask some of the following questions:

  1. How did you get started in this line of work?
  2. How did you prepare yourself for this profession?
  3. What classes or projects can I do to prepare myself for this career area?
  4. What is the most valuable thing you learned in college?
  5. Knowing what you know now, would you take the same job/career path again? Why/why not?
  6. What do you like most about your work? Like least? What do you find most rewarding about your work?
  7. What do you do in a typical day?
  8. What type of people do you work with?
  9. What are other specialties in this area?
  10. Would you advise others to enter this career area?
  11. What, in your opinion, is the job outlook in this field/geographic location?
  12. In other settings and organizations, would I find people involved in this activity?
  13. What skills are essential in this field?
  14. Do you know anyone else in this career field who might be willing to talk to me about what they do? Would you allow me to use your name when I contact them?

If you are connecting with alumni for the purpose of a job or internship search, you may wish to ask some of the following questions:

  1. Are there any specific skills or qualifications that I need to concentrate on to be marketable in this career field or organization?
  2. How can I best market myself to potential employers?
  3. Would you be willing to review my resume?
  4. How does the hiring process work at your organization?
  5. Do you know of any similar organizations that might be currently hiring?
  6. Who would be the best person to contact or send a resume to regarding a position with your organization?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Your initial conversation with an alumni will likely be through e-mail, but don’t forget that telephone and in-person meetings are a possibility. Here are some sample scripts to get you started with your alumni:

Sample #1 -- Information request/request for an informational interview

Dear Ms./Mr. ___________:

I recently found your name through the Geneseo Career Partners database. I am in my junior year at Geneseo and majoring in Communication. I am interested in learning more about careers in advertising. I have listed a few questions below that I would greatly appreciate your response to, at your convenience. Thank you so much!

  • How long have you worked in advertising?
  • What made you choose your career field?
  • As an account executive, what is your typical day like?
  • Is there anything you don’t like about your job?
  • What skills do you feel are necessary to succeed in the advertising industry?

Thank you for taking the time to provide this information!  I would be delighted to provide additional information about myself and would be happy to meet in person if you have the time.  I look forward to hearing back from you!

Sincerely,

Julie Smith

Address
City, State, Zip
Phone
E-mail address

Sample #2 -- Networking letter

Dear Ms./Mr. _______:

I recently accessed the Career Partners database through the Career Services Office at SUNY Geneseo. After I graduate in May with a degree in Sociology, I plan to relocate to Georgia and hope to pursue a career in counseling. Your name came up as a human services professional in the Atlanta area.

In addition to my coursework, I have completed a successful internship at Hillside Family of Agencies. I gained an understanding of individual and group counseling during this experience. I have enclosed my resume for your review and hope that you will keep me in mind should positions arise within your organization. I would also appreciate any insights that you may be able to provide into the Atlanta job market.

I am available to talk by phone at your convenience or we can continue to correspond through e-mail. Thank you in advance for taking the time to provide this information.

Sincerely,

Julie Smith
Address
City, State, Zip
Phone
E-mail address
Enclosure

Sample #3 -- Telephone script to schedule a visit

“Hello, my name is __________ and the Department of Career Development at SUNY Geneseo put me in touch with you through the Career Partners program. Is this a good time for you to talk?”

RESPONSE (If yes- “Great!” If no- “When would be a good time to contact you?”)

“I am a senior and would like to pursue a career in banking when I graduate. I understand that you have been in the field for a few years and may be able to provide me with some information. I was hoping to meet you in person.”

Sample #4 -- Telephone script to conduct/schedule a telephone interview

“Hi, Ms./Mr.____________. My name is__________ and I am contacting you as a result of the Geneseo Career Partners database. Do you have a few moments to speak with me?”

RESPONSE (Yes/No))

“I am a junior at Geneseo and I have been thinking about going to law school. I have researched the legal field but I’m still not sure if it’s for me. I was hoping you could tell me from an experienced perspective what it is really like to be a lawyer?”

RESPONSE (Yes/No)

“Great! I do have a few questions prepared…”

It is important, after connecting with an alumni, to THANK them. Thank you's can be emailed or handwritten, but they do need to happen!

Thank You Letter Guidelines and Sample

Thank you letters should:

  • Be sent within 48 hours of the informational interview.
  • Be error free.
  • Be concise.
  • Compliment their expertise, knowledge, and helpfulness.
  • Define how the person helped you.
  • Thank them for their lead(s), if appropriate, and tell them how and when you plan to contact the person(s) and that you will let them know how it turns out.
  • Mention that you will keep them advised of your progress.

Sample #5 -- Thank you letter

Date
Your Street Address
City, State, Zip

Name of the Career Partner
Job Title
Organization Name
Street Address
City, State, Zip

Dear Ms./Mr.___________:

Thank you very much for taking the time to meet with me Thursday to discuss opportunities in the __________ industry. I was impressed by your knowledge of ________ and appreciated your insight regarding the way I can use my skills to contribute to ____________.

You gave me the name(s) of __________ at _____________ to contact and we have an appointment early next month.

I will be in contact from time to time to keep you posted on my career research. Thank you for your help and valuable information!

Sincerely,

Signature

Julie Smith