At this point in the lives of college students, finding internships and working towards a career is very important. Students are learning to be professional, make connections and network, and reach out to potential employers that could determine their future life course. The following are a few tips to make students stand out to potential employers.
Emailing is the most simple form of contacting a business or employer. If you have questions on who it is that should actually be contacted, emailing is an easy way to do that. The email will typically be redirected or replied to with the correct person. But the next steps are crucial in creating a solid email that can get students one step closer to their dream job.
Step 1: Write a clear subject line
According to Business Insider, cold emailing to inquire about a job requires a pretty catchy subject line. It will help the email to stand out among all of the other emails they receive.
Step 2: Address your message to the correct person
Put in the effort to make sure about who it is the email is being sent to. Nothing can give an employer a bad impression like addressing the wrong person. Employers like people who do their research, it bodes well for a potential employee.
Step 3: Talk about what you can provide an employer
Shana Lebowitz from Business Insider says “talk about the value you can provide — for example, ‘would love to share my ideas on increasing sales team productivity.’ Consider what the person you’re emailing cares about and why she would want to read your message.”
Step 4: Customize the email to the individual employer
It is not good to just copy and paste the same general email for every employer. Customize the email and make it look original. An employer can usually tell if it is the same email other employers receive because it will be very generic. Employers are looking for reasons to cut down the number of applications they receive, so they may pick at little mistakes.
Step 5: Don’t copy and paste your resume
Students should attach their resume as a pdf or external document. It is easier to read, the format will be correct, and it looks more professional.
Step 6: Send your email as soon as you can after the job is posted
Lebowitz says it is ideal to send the email within 72 hours of the job posting. It assures that applications will not already be narrowed down by then.
Step 7: Follow up promptly
Try to follow up after about a week of sending the application, and even include in the email that you plan to follow up in about that time. If the application has a date that it closes, follow up within a week of that date.
Tips for Phone Calls
Calling on the phone can be much different. Some people are very well spoken, and some may not be. This can make calling a potential employer much more difficult. Before calling, the number one tip which may seem obvious is being prepared. A caller must be prepared to answer any questions the employer may ask and also be prepared to ask the employer questions as well. The steps to follow will give students a little more confidence and be a little more prepared to potentially start their future!
Step 1: Know the job
It is very helpful to know the details of the job being inquired about. Being informed and doing research can impress a potential employer and leave a good impression, giving them confidence in you.
Step 2: Write down what you want to say
It is important to write down some important points to be made. They can be informative towards character and personality, or they can just be facts researched about the company to prove the knowledgeability of the job. Just make sure to not sound like the conversation is completely scripted.
Step 3: Set yourself up
Find a quiet room where interruptions will be very limited if not non existent. Try and use a landline to ensure the call will not drop. Josie Chun from Career FAQs says to remember that “it’s also important not to chew gum, eat or drink while talking, but have a glass of water on hand in case your mouth gets dry.”
Step 4: Don’t forget the niceties
Ask first to make sure you are speaking to the right person. Once that is addressed, ask if it is a convenient time to call and if not, ask when to call back. Jot notes down in order to prepare questions for the employer. At the end of the call, always thank them for their time.
Step 5: Keep a record
Chun also says “keep a record of all the calls you make – note the date, who you spoke to and what you discussed.”
Step 6: Follow up
Just like with emailing, always follow up the call. Follow up the call with an email, thanking them again for their time, and attach a resume and cover letter in the email as well.
Putting yourself out there is never an easy thing to do in any context. But it is very important in order to attain the life you have planned for yourself. Both methods of contact are just a small step on the path to bigger and better things in the future. Taking the first step towards the future is never an easy thing, and it does take courage, but following these steps can make things just a bit easier for students who may not know where exactly to start. Be bold and start your future, because eventually the future is going to be happening, and you never want to look back and regret the times you decided to play it safe and not reach towards your dream opportunities.
Written by Haleigh Parrish