June 18, 2010
10 minutes, coffee and a chat can land you a job
When I was a student looking for work, I cold called senior people who worked for companies I wanted to work for. Depending on the size of the company it sometimes took several calls. Notice I said “call” and not email. Pick up the phone!
My “ask” was for 10 minutes of their time to talk about the industry. I would always include a promise to bring them a coffee (don’t forget the cream and sugar).
Most people are kind enough to give you ten minutes, especially if you are a student or new to a town. People like to talk about themselves, so the 10 minutes usually becomes 30 or more.
Do your research. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twtter are valuable resources on the web, as is a simple Google search. Do your homework! Don’t go in to the meeting knowing nothing about the person and their company. You will leave a much better impression if you instantly have something to talk about and questions to ask them.
You may not walk out of the office with a job offer, but if you do it right, you’ll walk out with a new contact in the industry. If they like you they may even pick up the phone or send an email to someone they think you should meet. Hat tip to Hannah Paramore of Paramore|Redd.
One final question
Your last question before you depart should always be, Do you know anyone else in the industry who you think I should meet?
If you left a good impression they will likely give the names of a few great people to reach out to. Another hat tip goes to Karen Stone of Prince Market Research.
Don’t forget to follow up with a Thank You email or card. The people who agree to meet with you are kind enough to dedicate their valuable time, the least you can do is to say thank you.
Check out Chris Brogan’s great eBook on using the social web to find work.
Photo from Flickr by: nomsaleena