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Approaching companies for jobs or internships

2 min, 42 sec read
13:15 PM | 16 May 2014
by Jim Compton-hall
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Following on from last week’s tip about researching five companies to refine your search, the next step is to get in touch with your favourites about jobs or opportunities.

Avoid saying "Can you hire me. I'm really good and stuff". Instead, try starting a real conversation with them. Ask about work they have done, ask them a question about their career, can they share how they landed a job, advice or feedback on your work?

The best interactions come face to face, try to avoid emails or phone calls other than using them to set up meetings. It’s your chance to show off your personality and become memorable to that person. 

Emailing

At larger agencies it’s best not to approach companies via the info or jobs email domain. Even if you have a perfectly written subject line and email, it will be difficult to stand out against the hundreds of other emails. At smaller or medium agencies your chances are increased but we'd still recommend going direct.

Emailing individuals is often more advantageous as you're able to build a stronger rapport. If you manage to get a reply, you know you’re onto something. And can continue the conversation. Never be too needy, desperate or demanding, simply ask if you can chat to them on the phone or meet for 15 minutes over a coffee to take the connection further.

Phone calls

If someone doesn’t reply to an email of yours, follow up with a call. People are busy and sometimes replying to emails is not their priority but if you can catch them on the phone, you become their priority for at least a few minutes. It’s a great chance to secure a follow up or they may be able to introduce you to someone else.

Visit the company

Salesman have been doing this for centuries, turning up at front doors and trying to promote their wares. Although you may hate this concept, you are effectively trying to do the same when pushing out your CV or portfolio.

By turning up an agency you’re showing initiative. This can go a long to convincing people you are serious about them. And we've never heard of people being turned away because they went to an agency unannounced. You might not get to see the CEO but there will always be someone there who will be happy to talk to you given the effort you've put in turning up.

But if you do this, don’t turn up with nothing. Be sure to figure out what your angle is, what you want to talk about and what you want to show.

Showcase your talent or pull off a stunt

Getting the attention of people in an unusual way can pay off. It not only shows true desire and dedication that you want a job, it’s a good way show-off your talents.

No one has quite gone Evel Knievel yet but below are some classic approaches people have undertaken to promote themselves to particular people and companies. And there are countless more in the self-promotion area of our website to inspire you.

  • Twitter Hustle
  • Naked for Naked
  • Kathy loves Airbnb
  • Googling yourself is a lot of fun
  • Interactive Resume of Robby Leonardi
  • Brian Moose - The Vintage Pack

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