Connecting with professionals in your field(s) of interest to get an insider perspective about their industry or company. A great way to build contacts and learn about various career paths others have taken. Can be ineffective if contacts perceive you are simply asking for a job, and are not genuinely interested in their backgrounds. Prepare for an informational interview like you would an actual interview by researching the individual, industry and company, and coming up with specific questions. Ask for a specific amount of time and be mindful of their schedules (“I would love an opportunity to meet for coffee for 30 minutes at a time and location convenient for you”); always follow up with a thank you.