It’s always good to have a dream to chase. Working towards a goal not only gives you a drive to succeed, but it motivates you to better yourself. A common dream for many young women about to enter the working world is the idea of a dream job or a dream company you would love to work for. If you have found either of those aspirations for yourself, it can be exciting to start a new journey in your professional life, but it can also be intimidating. How do you even begin the process of working towards such a goal? Who should you contact, and what should you say to get your foot in the door? It all begins with establishing contact.
Let’s say you have found a company that seems like a perfect fit for you and you want to reach out to them and make yourself known. You know about what they do and how they operate, and you have a good understanding of their history. When approaching a large corporation or a well-established company, there is a certain professional etiquette for communication you should become familiar with.
You can start by using the most ubiquitous social platform on the web to establish contact with the company: LinkedIn. Connect with the company on LinkedIn and follow their updates to keep up with changes in their activities, staffing, and accomplishments. Networking via LinkedIn is also a great way to get in contact with people working at your company of interest or in your dream job. This is why it is so important to invest time and effort in LinkedIn. By continuously growing your network of connections, you may give yourself the opportunity to establish contact with someone in an advantageous position to you at that company through an introduction from a different connection. Keep in mind, the most polite way to reach out to someone on LinkedIn who you do not know personally or who does not provide you directly with the opportunity to connect with them, is through a 2nd degree connection. A 2nd degree connection on LinkedIn is similar to a “friend of a friend.” It is someone you do not know directly, but who is introduced to you through someone with whom you have a direct connection.
Additionally, following the company on their social media platforms, like Instagram or Facebook, is a great way to create contact. This goes for entrepreneurs and public figures as well, but not for private personal accounts for individuals. The relationship will be professional, and will help you stay updated on their activities and give you the ability to make a name for yourself by commenting on and sharing their posts, which expresses your interest in their work.
Topics of Conversation
Although it may seem counterintuitive, it is never a good idea to start a conversation with a company, employee, or employer by asking about a job. Instead, start by introducing yourself and ask if they can provide some information about the position you are interested in, the company they work for, their workplace culture, their industry, their personal experiences, etc. It is important to appeal to your correspondent’s expertise and to give them respect as someone in a position above your own that may end up helping you in the long run. You want to make a good impression, and asking for a job without building a relationship first will come across as hasty and impersonal.
In terms of introducing yourself, here are some key points to cover. First, provide your contact with information about yourself that establishes your credibility as a worthwhile connection. Furthermore, offer information about your skills, interests, goals, or knowledge that would highlight their value to your contact. Understand that whoever you try to connect with may receive many similar emails or messages. To stand out to them, make an impact with your unique qualities and keep your introduction concise. Lastly, make it clear that you do not expect a job offer from your relationship. This takes pressure off the other person and makes them more comfortable with the idea of keeping in touch with you.
Other Ways In
Talking directly with someone of interest to you is ideal, but not always possible. Gaining the appropriate connections and networking can take time, and your current situation may not allow for that kind of opportunity yet. Luckily, there are other ways for you to reach out. If there is an event put on for your target company or industry that is open to you, make an effort to go. Conferences and events can be a great way to gain information and network, which could lead to an in-person or online connection. Don’t forget to notify companies you follow on social media attending the event that you will be there too!
Additionally, a method of establishing contact that has been decreasing in popularity is sending a letter of interest. Moving communications online has streamlined operations and hiring for many industries and has become quite ubiquitous. If you are confident in your fit at a particular company and really want to stand out among the many applications that company sees every day, then you may want to consider sending a letter to them explaining your interest in a certain position. Be sure to include your resume, but don’t ask for a job outright. Mention their recent successes and how you may contribute to that success in the future, instead.
It Takes Time
Now that you know how to approach a company or individual employer appropriately, and in a way that optimizes your relationship, you can try applying these tips and strategies to help you progress on your path to your dream job! However, the key to succeeding in this task is to be patient. You can find yourself being eager to get the job and get started, but expressing interest calmly and professionally benefits your image in the company’s eyes. So be confident in yourself and your decision to follow your dreams because you may be their dream employee!
By: Lauren Miles