You have been advancing well with your Job Quest. Over the last three weeks we have built together all the elements to get you ready to start going out and making contact with the employer of that potential fantastic job.
We realise that it has been a lot of hard work to this point, but, as we keep saying at the Perfect Gentleman, preparation is the mother of success. Here are our tips and tricks for making that 1st Contact en route to securing that perfect job, let’s delve into the next step on your quest.
Making 1st Contact is that 1st impression; you have to make it count and be at your best.
Remember the Research
By this time you will have researched the company, the job and the person who will be hiring you and your potential boss. Now is the time you make all that research count. You will be using it throughout the rest of this article.
Make it Personal & Specific
Make each approach as personal and specific as possible. You want this job, therefore you have to make the person at the other end believe it to be so. Make the approach targeted to their specific needs and wants. Make it personal, both to you and to the person you are approaching.
You want them to know how you are the best person for the job. If you have done some of the things we mentioned in Parts 1 and 2, then you will be able to point them to articles you have written or refer to things that they have mentioned.
If you can, gain an introduction to the company or, even better, to the person hiring directly. People will always look favourably on those who have been introduced or recommended. Even if you have to ask around to get introduced, do so. A warm handshake is better than a cold shoulder.
If you can meet the relevant people in person first, then that is best. I don’t mean jump on them at a networking event and thrust your CV in their face.
What I mean is, if you can met them and talk to them about what they want and need. Always make it about the other person and the company, make their life easier.
If you do have the opportunity for an informal ‘coffee interview’, then take it, but treat it like an Interview (which we cover in a later part).
If you haven’t been able to meet the person you need to, phone them.
We live in an electronic world and we have people send thousands of emails and we as humans crave human contact. So make an effort to call first. Remember to ask if they have time to speak on the phone for a few minutes. Ask about the job and what they are looking for and mention one element of your research.
– Be Confident
– Be Brief (stick to your couple of minutes)
– Don’t Oversell
If they ask you to call back do, if they ask you to email put the phone down and do it.
Finally, we should not need to mention this but we shall, Be Polite, Courteous and pleasant to all the people you speak to. You never know whose ear they may have.
You will at some point have to write a covering letter, either as an initial contact or as a follow up. Here are the key elements:-
– As with the CV, make sure that you proof it thoroughly and even get it read by that grammar friend
– Keep it formal, positive and friendly – use appropriate forms of address
– Write it on good paper, with a font that is easy to read
– Sign it properly with a pen
– Make sure you start with how you know them or where you were introduced or why you are writing
– Cover some points from your research
– Do a brief re-cap of your relevant history/skills/experience specific to the job, thinking about their needs
– Make sure the whole letter is no more than a page
When you have sent it, remember to follow up with an email or phone call after an appropriate amount of time, which can vary and depend on the company, time of year and other factors. Never less than a week and never more than a month.
Use Exactly the same principles as with the covering letter above. Please don’t start with ‘Hi xxx’ , this is not an email to a friend or long term colleague. Remember 1st Impressions count.
You can write the letter in the email or you can attach it, or indeed both, depending on the company protocol, which you should know or, if not, it gives you an excuse to call.
We would advise you to avoid these if you can, instead try to find a personal route in and if you have done your research you should. Make sure your covering letter and CV are in tip top shape when you submit them.
Get back on the research to find another way in, it is a Job Quest after all!
We hope these tips help you make that first contact, break the ice and travel further on your quest.
Next week we shall deal with the Rejection.