How to approach a company directly for a job
Want your dream job? Don’t be afraid to try asking for it.
Contacting a business directly for a job can be daunting.
We’ve all been there. Carefully crafting an email to your dream place of work, hitting send and then waiting with bated breath for the response.
Many times, unfortunately, we receive no response and wonder if it was something we said (or didn’t say).
I get about four or five of these emails a week, and in this feature, I’m going to share my tips and tricks to help you stand out from the crowd when approaching a business cold for a job.
Sometimes it’s just a case of no opportunities being available, but craft your approach in the right way and there’s a good chance that when a position does come available, you’ll be in their mind…
FIND THE RIGHT CONTACT
It sounds obvious but first of all, make sure you find the most appropriate contact to email – and get their name right. I’ve lost count of the number of emails I receive addressed to ‘Lauren’ or worse – another name entirely. It instantly demonstrates a lack of attention to detail. If it’s a larger corporation, I’d recommend sending an email to the HR team and copy in the head of the relevant department. For smaller businesses, go straight to the founder. Don’t be afraid to ask for a meeting or a quick coffee to introduce yourself properly – you’ll be surprised how many people might say yes.
CONNECT ON SOCIAL MEDIA
LinkedIn is a great way to build deeper relationships with key people in a business. Connect with them, engage with their posts and you’ll begin to see a broader picture of the business, its successes and its challenges. Share your opinion on similar posts to get yourself noticed.
RETHINK A LENGTHY COVER LETTER
Business owners are busy, and attaching a cover letter to an email decreases the chances of it actually being read. Set out an introduction to yourself in an email. Be concise and clearly set out:
- Why you want to work for the company – be specific and show genuine passion and interest.
- What skills and past experience you have – think about what benefits this could bring to the business. Even if you’re straight out of university, list any personal skills you have like organisation, efficiency, research – sell yourself.
- What you think you can bring to the business – don’t be afraid to be direct here. Even better if you can identify a problem, for example: ‘I noticed that you are struggling to grow followers on social media, I believe that I could take control of social media management, develop a strategy for growth and generate an average of 50 new followers per month. I’ve demonstrated this on my own channel by (give examples).
- Ask to keep your details on file – Thank them for their time reading and request that even if no positions are available currently, they keep your details on file for future hires.
CVs AND EXAMPLES OF WORK
Share these at the time of initial contact to create an easy package for potential employers to refer back to.
Keep your CV to two pages maximum and focus specifically on past experience and skills acquired.
If you’re applying for something like a writing role, for example, include links to published work or examples of writing. Don’t overload here, but two to three examples of your work or successes will help you to stand out.
Don’t be afraid to chase once and ask for feedback. Leave it around 10 days then send something simple asking if they have had a chance to review your email. Sometimes this little push can provoke a follow-up response and demonstrate your interest and commitment.
Don’t get disheartened! It can be really difficult approaching businesses, especially cold, but if you really want to work for an organisation or in a specific industry, keep going! One day it will be right place, right time and you’ll land your dream role.