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COVID-19 – Your Virtual Coffee Chat Checklist

Student at coffee shop working on his laptop

If you have been living under a rock lately or simply too busy studying or working (in which case, good for you!), you may have missed our latest Instagram Live session and online workshop on virtual networking and coffee chats in times of uncertainty. Don’t panic: as usual, we’ve made sure that you could access the content at your own pace.

Instagram Live session on virtual networking (recording)

If you have not yet boarded the virtual coffee chat/informational interview train, it is seriously time for you to get… packing. To help you prepare for this crucial journey and remember the essentials to optimize your results, we have created the following checklist.

By checking the following boxes before reaching out to Telfer alumni and professionals in your industry to set up virtual coffee chats, you will not only set clearer goals and expectations; you will also make a better impression.

Virtual Coffee Chat Checklist

  • I have updated and proofread my resumé, in case I am asked to provide it afterwards.*
  • I have created a strong LinkedIn profile.*
  • I have identified the 5-10 position titles in my industry I am most interested in.*
  • I have identified the 5-10 employers in my industry I am most interested in.*
  • I have identified 5-10 professionals from my targeted employers who could provide me with relevant advice.
  • I have developed and rehearsed my 15-second elevator pitch that highlights my value.
  • I have researched my targeted contacts (job descriptions) and employers (history, mission, values, potential challenges, strategic goals).
  • I have picked and tested a professional-looking, non-distracting outfit that looks appropriate in a “working from home” context. So maybe not a suit and tie, nor a fuzzy unicorn robe.
  • For each potential coffee chat, I have clearly identified:

    • my intention, or what I want to get out of it in terms of information/insight;

    • 4-5 specific questions I want to ask the professional.

  • I have tested several virtual meeting platforms (MS Teams, Google Hangouts, Zoom, Facetime, Skype) to be flexible.

  • I have performed a tech test/rehearsal, solved all technical issues, and calibrated the background, sound, lighting, notifications settings, etc.

  • I have determined the days and times when I’m available for virtual coffee chats, and the ones when I’m not.

  • I have taken the time to jot down a few small-talk points for my coffee chat. For example, in these times, asking people if they and their loved ones and team members are all safe and healthy is fundamental.

*Need some help getting ready before you hit the virtual coffee chat road? Book an individual consultation with one of our professionals through Career Launch, whether it be to receive a LinkedIn profile critique or to get more information on the best virtual networking strategies.

About the Author

(Elle/She)<br><br>Coordonnatrice de développement professionnel au Centre des carrières de Telfer, Véronique Bélinge est titulaire d’un baccalauréat ès arts en traduction, d’un baccalauréat ès sciences sociales en études internationales et langues modernes, ainsi que d’une maîtrise ès arts en littératures et cultures du monde. Avec plus de 20 ans d’expérience alliant traduction, révision, édition, rédaction publicitaire, création de contenu numérique et élaboration de messages organisationnels, elle offre aux étudiants du B.Com. et du MBA des services d’encadrement en développement de carrière et d’image de marque personnelle, depuis l’adaptation du CV jusqu’aux techniques d’entrevue en passant par LinkedIn.<br><br>Véronique Bélinge is the Professional Development Coordinator at the Telfer School of Management Career Centre. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts with a specialization in Translation, an Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences with a specialization in International Studies and Modern Languages as well as a Master of Arts in World Literatures and Cultures. With 20+ years of combined experience in translation, revision, copywriting, copyediting, publicity writing, digital content creation, and corporate messaging, she provides B.Com. and MBA students with personal branding and career coaching services encompassing everything from resumé tailoring to LinkedIn and interview techniques.

Profile Photo of Véronique Bélinge