Ask Cat About Informational Interviews (Video)

The Script

Ladies and gentlemen… The envelopes are in and now is the time you’ve all been waiting for to find out who…No, it’s not the Oscars! It’s time to answer your questions during the segment we like to call “Ask Cat.”

I’m Cat Miller and this is DiceTV.

Here’s the first question. Is it better to submit a large number of generally targeted resumes or to submit fewer, taking the time to customize each one?

Today, you need both high volume and customization. It’s possible to achieve both by implementing an assembly line process we call plug and play. Simply create several versions of your resume and cover letter along with an inventory of keywords, experience bullets and adjectives. Then make quick edits and substitutions after reading the job description and researching the employer. Once you assemble all the parts, you’ll be able to customize a resume and cover letter in an hour or less.

Here’s the next one. What’s the best way to turn informational interviews into opportunities?

If you listen carefully to the manager, you may uncover hidden opportunities such as unmet technical needs, unrealized department objectives or the possibility of future openings. This will give you the chance to subtlety suggest your services. And, don’t forget to ask for the names of other managers or colleagues who are actively hiring.

And here’s the last one. I’ve been offered a contract-to-hire opportunity. What should I know before accepting the position?

Contract-to-hire is a great way to get to know your future boss and assess a company’s technical infrastructure and work environment. But remember that the evaluation process applies to both parties. Always ask about the length of the trial period, the performance goals and whether the full-time budget has been approved before you accept an assignment. Otherwise you could be a contractor for a very long time. Before you start it’s also a good idea to ask about the full-time salary and benefits, so you’re not disappointed when you finally get a full-time offer.

If you have questions, send them to me at feedback@dice.com. Just put Ask Cat in the subject line. That’s feedback at dice.com.

I’m Cat Miller and this has been DiceTV. We now return you to your regular desktop.

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