May 20, 2020 | Online
On May 20, 2020, World Resources Institute Senior Human Resources Manager Clarissa Balatan, Career Coach Alyssa Best, and Deloitte Analyst Nadia Crevecoeur joined WFPG Executive Director Kim Kahnhauser Freeman for a conversation on how to network and job hunt remotely. The panelists shared best practices for interviews, informational interviews, reaching out through social media, and building and maintaining your network. This conversation was the first webinar in our Professional Development Series co-hosted by Women In International Security. Members can watch a recording on our Member Career Resources Platform.

Advice from our Panelists

Virtual networking

  • What is your ask? In your message, be clear in your wording and request. The more specific you are, the more this individual understands what you are asking for, and how they can assist you.

  • When reaching out to a new contact, ALWAYS add a personal note.

  • Consider connecting with an early career individual who can then connect you with others in their networks.

  • Take advantage of social media platforms like Instagram and LinkedIn. Don’t be afraid to send a Direct Message!

  • Put your best foot forward on LinkedIn. Add clips from video presentations and links to papers you’ve written.

  • Remember when you reach out to someone that they may have limited time, so manage your expectations, follow-up politely, and be concise. Keep in mind that everyone isn’t active on social media.

  • Follow up and follow through. Reach out to former supervisors, mentors and potential mentors to continue the conversation periodically--use holidays as a reason to send an update or share a relevant article. 

Informational interviews

  • Ask for 15-20 minutes. This shows respect for your contact’s schedule and will give you time for your main questions. 

  • Be prepared! Do your research and have specific questions ready. 

  • Don’t waste too much time on ‘pleasantries’. Be polite and direct.

  • Don’t forget peer-to-peer networking! Individuals who are in the role you are applying for can help explain the necessary skills and responsibilities, as well as have a part in the hiring process. 

Preparing for your video interview

  • Practice your online speaking skills. Career centers provide virtual interviewing practice tools including and, or record yourself on your phone.

  • Think about your background and lighting, and look straight ahead at your camera to connect better with your interviewer. Test your technology (bandwidth, headphones, etc.). Be sure  to dress professionally for your interview.

  • Use your space to your advantage! Having a cup of water or notes can help make you more comfortable.

  • Let roommates, partners, or family members know that you are doing an interview so there are no interruptions.

  • Have a backup plan! In case your internet goes out, have a phone number to reconnect quickly and professionally. 

  • Do your research and prepare questions directed at the company’s long-term goals and projects, and tailor your questions to the person interviewing you.

  • During COVID, companies are “trying to change the tire on a moving car”. Highlight your flexibility, your willingness to take on any challenge, and that you understand that the organization is going through tremendous change.

What to work on, highlight, and how to use this time

  • This time can be used to network very successfully. Many people, especially higher-ups, have more time and opportunity to engage with you--use that to your advantage and reach out!

  • Revamp your resume and your LinkedIn profile. Use this time to highlight your accomplishments and skills.

  • Practice interviewing. Use the virtual interviewing practice tools or ask a friend to do a mock interview with you.

  • Develop new skills. If you know a specific job requires technical skills, this is the best time to work on those! There are many free online courses that you can take to add to your resume.

Follow up, follow-through, and persistence

  • Always send a thank-you note or email with a personalized message that includes points of the conversation which stood out to you. Thank-you notes help you to stay connected and demonstrate continued interest.

  • Let someone know if they helped you. Reach out again to share if their advice or a contact they shared was useful.

  • Persist! Keep in mind that organizations are continuing to re-evaluate their needs, so if you are not hearing a response back, send a friendly reminder that includes how you fit the position.

Thank you to our speakers!

Clarissa BalatanClarissa Balatan, Senior Human Resources Manager at World Resources Institute, has over 13 years of human resources and leadership experiences with the National Labor Relations Board, Owens Corning, and Lockheed Martin. She has held roles of increasing responsibility supporting talent management, diversity and inclusion, compensation, talent acquisition, HR information systems, workforce strategy, and labor relations. Clarissa holds a BA in human resources management from Michigan State University, and MBA and MS degrees in finance from Indiana University. She is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources and recently completed Georgetown’s Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate program. She speaks Mandarin and Spanish and volunteers at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC.

Alyssa BestAlyssa Best is an independent career coach and a part-time career advisor at American University. She opened her practice in 2009 to support non-profit professionals. Since then, she has expanded her focus to serve clients undergoing career transitions in diverse industries and sectors, including foreign policy. At AU, she advises students and alumni and offers guidance on resume writing and interviewing. Previously, Alyssa worked in non-profit program management and advocacy at The OpEd Project, Wider Opportunities for Women, Center for Progressive Leadership, and Rutgers Institute for Women's Leadership. She is passionate about helping individuals identify their dream careers and providing them with the tools to achieve their goals. She has a certificate in personal development coaching and an MA in Women’s and Gender Studies from Rutgers.

Nadia CrevecoeurNadia Crevecoeur is a Government & Public Services Analyst at Deloitte Consulting. She currently supports USAID’s Workforce Transformation project, and consults pro-bono for non-profits in the DC area. Previously, Nadia served as the Senior Program Assistant at Women In International Security (WIIS), worked in the special victim's unit of the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office, and researched measuring UN peacekeeping success with the Global Governance Institute in Brussels. Nadia received a BA from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs with a concentration in Conflict Resolution.

Kim Kahnhauser Freeman Kim Kahnhauser Freeman (moderator) is the executive director of the Women's Foreign Policy Group, a non-profit organization which promotes women’s leadership and amplifies their voices in international affairs. Since joining the WFPG team in 2006, she has held roles of increasing responsibility supporting the organization’s global issues programs, membership outreach, mentoring initiatives, and strategic development. Previously, Ms. Freeman was a Fulbright teaching fellow in Tirol, Austria, and researched public housing for the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service in DC. Ms. Freeman was a 2011 State Department Young Turkey/Young America Fellow, and holds a BS in International Politics from Georgetown and an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown's McCourt School of Public Policy.