How to get noticed: 3 tips for young professionals on the job hunt

Annie McManis

Strategic Counselor

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

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I recently received an email that went something like this:

"Hello, my name is {ABC} and I am a recent college grad from {XYZ} University. My major was in {relevant field}. Right now I am working part time at {competing agency}. However, I am looking for something full time. And I've heard many wonderful things about {our agency – spelled wrong}. I was wondering if you all were hiring? If so, if you could give me a call at xxx-xxx-xxxx. I would really appreciate it! Thank you so much!"

Kudos to this new graduate for taking initiative. It’s not easy trying to break into that first job out of college. However, sending an unsolicited query and asking for a call back if we are hiring is probably not the most effective way to get noticed. (Note the sender did not include a resume, either.) What’s a new grad to do? Here are three tips for working your job search in a way that gets you noticed.

Sell yourself

Is it okay to send an email even if you are unaware of any open positions? Of course! In many cases, the position gets filled without it even being advertised, so it pays to get noticed. Use your introductory email to sell yourself – share your skill set and experience, explain what type of position you are seeking, and ask if you may follow up by phone, even if just for an informational interview.

Connect with a person

It’s easier than ever to track down the names of key people at a company through its website, LinkedIn or professional association rosters. If you can’t track down who might be an HR manager, connect with someone in a position who might manage the role you’re interested in. You’re more likely to get noticed than if sending it to the CEO or president, especially if it’s a larger company.

Follow up

Even if you hear nothing back from your initial query, take the time to follow up. Have a clear request (not just, “Did you get my email?”). Ask if you could take 30 minutes of their time for a cup of coffee to pick their brain about the company, the industry, and opportunities. If you’re able to make a human connection, you’re one step ahead of your competition.

What methods worked for you to land your first job? Let us know at @IntrinzicSays.