Job-seeking seniors and graduate students need to understand the importance of being proactive in this search to join the workforce. And proactivity suggests Coffee Meetings over Interviews. Using LinkedIn to request a coffee meeting with someone you’ve targeted at a company–or with someone at a particular organization you’ve targeted–puts you in such a better position to get “in” with that organization. A coffee meeting is a brief, relaxed meeting where you have every opportunity to share your strengths. But better than that, your host has a great chance to tell you how she reached the position she’s in. Why? Because people love to talk about themselves if given the chance. And why will she meet with you for coffee? Because a few years ago, she was in the same position as you asking for a brief meeting with someone else. Even though a coffee meeting isn’t considered an interview, this person who just met you for 15 minutes may hustle back to her office to tell the world that they need to grab you before some else does.
As one Boston College grad who ended up in an important Movie Studio job here in LA recently shared with me: “The reason to get as many coffee meetings as you can especially here in LA is that in this town, none of the good jobs ever get posted.”