Research and Contact Employers

Employers prefer to hire employees that already know about their industry and their company. This exercise will help you organize the information you find about your target employers.

Use Research occupations, industries, and companies (pdf)
to target your job search.

Contact Employers
Once you know a bit about your target employers, you can contact them. Before doing so, you should know what you are going to say. Review the tips and questions provided in the section covering Informational Interviewing. If you feel like you have a good connection, offer to send a cover letter and resume.

Tips for Calling Employers
Write down what you want to say. This is important if you are not used to calling employers. Don't read your script; your conversation should be natural.
Smile while you are talking on the phone. It makes your voice sound cheerful and relaxed.
Your out-going voicemail message should not have music or jokes on it. Just say your name and ask the caller to leave a message.
Tell your roommates and family that employers will be calling. Ask them to take clear messages and give them to you right away.
Call back all employers who call you, even if you no longer want the job.
Return all phone calls within 24 hours.
How to E-Mail Employers
Use a simple e-mail address with your name or initials for your job search. Don't use inappropriate nicknames or jokes like ""
Start the e-mail with something of interest to the reader. Let them know right away why you are writing and how you can help their business.
Write the email the same way you would a formal letter. Don't use online acronyms such as IMHO, LOL, etc.
Have a subject line that is clear and interesting.
At the end of your message, tell the employer you plan to follow-up. Give them another way contact you such as your phone number. If you sent the e-mail without them knowing, ask if they want you to keep in touch with them in another way.
Check for the correct spelling, grammar, word use, and punctuation.
If the employer does not contact you, and you really want an interview, call them. 

How do I reach the right person?

Research the company, or person; try to find a contact name…..somebody who knows somebody in the company. can be a useful tool for this.

If you were told it was your job to screen your employer’s calls for importance, what would you do?  YOU WOULD SCREEN YOUR EMPLOYER’S CALLS. These annoying people that prevent you from reaching the right person are sometimes referred to as gatekeepers. How do you get past them?

  1. Gatekeepers usually work from 9 – 5. Supervisors and Directors often come in earlier and leave later. Try making your calls from 8 – 9 A.M. or 5 – 6 P.M.
  2. You may want to ask for the name of the person in charge and then call back the next day asking for Mr. Smith, regarding some information you need. (You were told to speak directly to Mr. Smith)
  3. Sound confident. The receptionist can sense if you are not comfortable making this call. Try this:

Caller: “Hi, this is Joe Confidence. I’m trying to contact the person in charge of marketing. Who would that be?

Gatekeeper: “That’s Mr. Know-it-all. He is the director.”

Caller: “I need to contact him about some marketing concerns. Does he have a direct number or an extension #?

Gatekeeper: His direct number is…….. Would you like me to transfer you?

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