“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” (Andrew Grant)
When we start the job-hunting process the very first step we take is crafting a resume for that dream position. There’s nothing wrong with that. Well, almost nothing. From an employer’s point of view, it’s a good idea to start building a relationship with the company before sending your resume to them.
The question is: How can you make a first impression on your potential employer before sending your resume? There are at least 5 ways you can do it.
1. Send a note by post.
All the essentials for taking this step are available online. They are the company’s address and the name of a person you’d like to send a note to. Then, decide what type of note it should be. A handwritten letter that explains who you are and why you think you’d be perfect for the company, for example. In the note, also write a solution to a problem the company’s facing. You can find an inspiration from Nina who wanted to work for airbnb and created something truly special.
Another option is to do a deeper research and find what the person from a department you’d like to work in likes. Check their social media accounts (Facebook/Instagram) and try to think what would make them smile? On one of the recruitment meetings I attended, one of the employers mentioned a girl who sent her favorite chocolate bar together with a resume. You guess right, she got hired! Even though the whole situation might seem a bit creepy to you.
Sending a little something or a handwritten note is just more creative. At the end of the day, who sends anything by post anymore? If you do it, you’ll surely make an impression. It’s up to your message whether it will be a positive one.
2. Build a virtual relationship on Twitter.
No, a simple “Follow” or a single tweet will not do the trick. What you need to do is interact with the company. Get organized and create your action plan.
First, do the research. What kind of information do they share? Are these the topics you’re interested in too? If the answer’s no, read about those topics and get familiar with them. Secondly, dedicate time to be active on Twitter. Like their tweets, re-tweet them and comment on them. You can also tweet directly to them, ask questions or recommend an article they would be interested in. Finally, remember that persistency is a key. Wait until some interaction between you and the company forms. Keep in mind that it could take more than a week for that to happen.
Once the relationship exists, you’re ready to send them an inmail explaining who you are and why you’d like to work for them.
3. Give them a call.
I know. Calling to your dream employer directly can be a little scary. Especially if it is one of your very first positions. Don’t worry, tough. All you need is a good preparation. Write everything you’d like to tell them down on a piece of paper. The message, once again, should be you “selling” yourself and explaining why you are the right person for the company. What problem can you solve for them?
After you’ve written down your key messages, practice. Ask your friend to pretend to be the employer and have a virtual call with them. Trust me, this way you’ll boost your confidence.
Many employers out there prefer receiving a call, rather than having to read through your email. It’s more efficient and less time-consuming.
4. Comment on their blog.
Another thing you could try is finding out whether the person from a department you’d like to work in has a blog. You can usually find a link to their blog on their Linkedin or Twitter profile. You could even try to Google their name and see what type of information pops up. If they have an active blog, it will appear for sure.
Then read their articles and comment on them. Share your point of view or ask them an additional question. It should be more than just “Great article!”
If you like writing and have your own blog, you could even write an article sharing your opinion or a point of view on the same topic. Than send it to them explaining that you got inspired by their work. It’s very flattering to writers.
5. Meet them in person.
Have you heard the story about a guy who pretended to be a postman delivering doughnuts to his potential employers? In the box there weren’t just doughnuts, but also his resume! Now that is one creative way to make a good first impression!
While you could try the same, another good idea would be crafting an amazing resume specific to the company, filled with your top skills, experience and a good evidence for each point. Show up with a smile on your face and a good explanation why you’d like to work for them up your sleeve.