Contacting employers to get a job interview is not the same thing as information interviewing that we have discussed previously. This time, your objective is to convince employers that they should hire you. How will you do that? Here are four useful tips:
#1 Identify potential employers
As a job seeker, you can find an employer’s contact from LinkedIn or go to the company page directly. Yet, before contacting anyone randomly, make sure to make a list and identify which employers you’d really like to work with.
See also: 3 Basic Ways to Learn about Work Options
#2 Choose appropriate ways to contact employers
After identifying the employer of your choice, make sure to know the right way to approach them. There are three main ways: phone call, email, and in-person meeting. Before reaching out to them via any of these, you should consider the following factors:
The type of work you want - Employers use different hiring practices for different types of work. For instance, they might use employment of placement offices to fill some positions, but not others. You can find out this type of employment practice by reading about the occupation and industry, and by information interviewing.
Your personality and skills - If any method of contacting employers is generally acceptable for the type of work you want, choose the method that will work best for you. If you are better in communicating via letters, then send emails. If you want to make a good first impression, you can arrange an in-person meeting.
Your work history - If your work history has gaps in it that are difficult to explain, contacting employers in person or by phone is preferable. If your qualifications look really good on paper, it would seem neat to contact via email.
Your personal circumstances - If you are applying for work in a community some distance away from where you live, it would be better to rely primarily on a letter campaign or email.
#3 Address carefully
“Dear sir/madam” and “To whom it may concern” types of approaches are not very effective. If you want recruiters or employers to notice your application, address by their specific name. If you are contacting employers by phone, ask the person who answers the phone for the name of the person who has hiring authority. Record names and contact information in an organised way that gives you room for notes about when you contacted people and how they responded.
After you’ve done the homework of listing the employers and understanding the appropriate way of contacting them, you can start the move. Make sure to always sound polite and honest in your application.
Follow up your contact with the said employer after a reasonable length of time (most experts recommended about 2 weeks) and be gently persistent.
If you meet employers in person and they have no openings, leave a resume or your business card. Ask if and when it would be appropriate to check in with them again.
On the phone, your objective is to get a job interview. After a meeting, leave a resume and ask if it would be acceptable to call back in a couple of weeks.
When you contact employers by email, ask for an interview on the closing paragraph. If possible, give a date and time when you will phone to arrange a convenient time. Then be sure to call when you said you would. This way will give you a bigger chance to be invited in an interview.