Contacting companies and applying for jobs
If you're about to embark on a job hunt, or you've been at it for some time without much success, this guide will give you a few tips on how you can best get in touch with employers and standout above the crowd.
Methods of contact
Phoning up remains the king of all ways of contacting agencies and employers. You can be certain that the person is getting your message, they’re likely to remember you more than if they’d just got an email and you can get an immediate response.
But for many of us, particularly introverts, we’ll want to avoid picking up the phone for as long as possible. We recommend confronting your fears and picking up the phone to get practise in.
Everyone has an email address and just about everyone checks their email multiple times a day. Unfortunately that’s because they get loads of emails throughout the day, some of which are incredibly important and demand immediate attention. Chances are, yours is not one of these.
But it’s not all doom and gloom with email. Employers do see them and they do respond, and usually their response is more well thought out and comprehensive than you’d get over the phone. You just have to keep chasing them to get that response.
To be in with a better chance of getting a response to your emails, read our writing tips guide.
If your letter doesn’t do anything an email wouldn’t, then it’s just utilising the gimmick of receiving post. Sometimes this works and employers appreciate it while other times it works no better than an email.
If you’re doing something a little more elaborate, however, then mailing something may be more worthwhile. For example, a funky package that includes your CV or portfolio may get you some interest from whoever you send it to. Be warned though, even things like this agencies get all the time so you still need to be different and interesting. See our self-promotion stories for inspiration.
Visiting in person
Taking a trip to an agency helps you stand out massively from the emails and phone calls that they are already getting. Just rock up unannounced and ask if you can talk to someone in the department you want to work in. Most of the timne someone will be happy to talk to you. You’ll get the chance to build a social rapport with them, maybe get a tour of the agency and be able to show off just how keen you are on working there.
You can connect with professionals, employers and agencies right here on FutureRising. Many employers sign up specifically because they want to hear from students and young people, so if they get a message from you, they’re sure to take notice.
If you’re having difficulty getting your foot in the door, then you might need to think about what more you can do to stand out. The following methods might just help you get a conversation or even a job interview with an employer. They won’t, however, get you the job by themselves. So if you’re already getting job interviews but nowhere after them, try focusing your attention on improving your interview skills and the way you're presenting yourself.
- Alfred Ajani stood in Waterloo station and got countless job interviews for it.
- Féilim Mac an Iomaire bought a billboard.
- Ben + Ken a creative team hijacked D&AD New Blood exhibition.
Stunts are sure to get you noticed. Just make sure it’s for positive reasons and companies will hopefully be falling over themselves trying to get in touch.
Imagine this. You’re an employer and you’re getting hundreds of CVs through each month. Plain, one or two page, black and white CVs. Then all of a sudden, this creative CV comes through the door. Of all the CVs you’ve recieved, which will get most of your attention, which will you share with other people and which are you least likely to forget about?
The above things mostly work because they’re different. They help you stand out. Furthermore, being in the creative industries, employers tend to look for people who can think differently. For the same reasons, being different in other ways will also help you start a conversation with an employer.
- For more help with applying to jobs, take a look at our CV guide and cover letters guide.
- Check out our writing tips to help improve your emails and other communciations with employers.
- Browse our self-promotion stories for creative CV and stunt inspiration.
- If you're an advertising creative or a designer, you'll also need a good portfolio. We have a guide for that.