Many young adults want money, but never get a job – the one thing designed to make you money. Why?
- Many don’t realize that they need to ask.
- Many simply don’t know how to ask for one.
This blog post will teach you how to ask for a job or internship, be it through email or over phone.
First, let’s figure out which method of communication is the best for the situation.
Like everything written communication has its pros and cons. I find that sending an email is great if you want a record to go back to, or are too anxious to call. It gives you a great way to convey concrete information to the employer, and you can even attach your cover letter and resume to it. However, there are a few major drawbacks to this method.
- Everybody does it – If you want to stand out from the pack, this is not the route to go down
- They’re so easy to delete – How hard is it for someone to misclick the email and delete it? Many managers have to sift through hundreds of emails a day, so it’s not unlikely that it could get lost in the pile.
- Theirs no personality – Its text and text can’t convey tone. If you’re looking to show your personality
Phone calls also have their pros and cons, but I prefer them to email. Why? They allow you to make a personal connection to whoever you are talking to and allow you to give them a personalized method. They also show that you really want this job – instead of sending a generic email, you went out of your way to call the business up and talk to them, vocally. Also, from my experience, people tend to remember phone calls more than emails. However, for many, this can be a stressful experience and is why many choose to use email.
What’s the best method of communication when looking for a position in a company? A combination of both. When looking for a job, I recommend emailing the company first, then following up by phone a few days later. This gives you the pros of both and eliminates the cons while showing the employer that you mean business.
Now, let’s look at some examples of how to ask for a job/internship.
Emails should be tailored to fit your situation, but follow the same loose structure.
Start by asking. The first two sentences are the most important, list who you are, maybe include some skills. Then, ask.
Dear, (FirstName LastName)
This is Your Name. I am a local student here attending WappCap High School (graduating class of 2018). I’m writing to ask you about a job position at your company…
Whatever you do, do not write “to whom it may concern…” always use the employers name.
Then tell them who you are, and why they should care. List skills that matter to them, and achievements that you are proud of.
I’m a local student here, who has a great passion for finance. I am the president of…. as well as the treasurer for…. Because of these positions I am well versed in Excel and various accounting roles, and belive that I could be of benefit for your business.
Tell them what you are going to do.
I will follow up by phone next week.
Then finish politely, with a complete signature.
Have a great day,
(914) 123 – 4567
Pretty simple, huh?
For many, this method of contact is the harder of the two, because it can be very stress-inducing. Phone calls, by nature, are improvising and this is why many get turned off by the idea of communicating to someone via phone. But, remember, this is probably the best way to contact
To circumvent these feelings of anxiety, there are quite a few methods
- Shoot them an email, then follow up with the phone call – It won’t feel so out of the blue, and you’ll have a connection with someone in the company.
- Research the company, and the people – Know names! This helps immensely. If you know who you are talking to, and information about the company and position, things will be a lot smoother.
- Create a rough outline – Write down important information and phrases that you want to convey to the employer. Here is a great to start out with: [Hi, My name is … and I’m calling for a potential job working as (position)?]
- Know when to call – As a rule of thumb, between 10 and 11 in the morning and 2 and 3 in the afternoon are the best times to call a business.
- Befriend the receptionist – You will learn in life that receptionists are some of the most important contacts you will have. Call them by name.
Here is the basic structure of a cold call asking for a job, with a few tips:
- Introduce yourself
- Find out the person’s name (ask them if you have to) and use it.
- Tell them why you are calling and answer any questions they may have.
- Speak clearly and don’t mumble. If you have trouble with this, exaggerate (with your mouth) what you are saying.
- Smiling when you talk adds warmth to your voice, but keep it sincere.
- If its a no, ask the person if they know any other companies with open positions (you can then use them as a reference to the new company when calling) .
- Whatever the outcome is, thank them for their time while sounding professional.
- If you get a voicemail, leave a short message (use a script if you need to).
- If the person you want to speak to isn’t available, ask about the best time to call back.
- If the organization won’t give out phone numbers, ask for an email address or offer to leave your number instead.
- If/When asked for contact information, repeat your name and phone number twice, slowly.
After a few phone calls, you will feel in your element, and will soon realize why they are superior to emails – they really do craft a personal connection, something that a written method of contact cannot.
Another quick tip relating to what I said a ways above; the most effective combination of communication when looking for a job is a combination phone and email. But, what about stopping by in person? A combination of all three of these things shows your employer that you have some great skills that every boss wants. You are motivated, good with people and confident. However, stopping by in person only works in some instances, usually with small businesses.
You’d be surprised. Many of my friends have walked into stores, resume in hand, and asked to see the hiring manager. Some go hired on the spot. Some got an interview, even when the store wasn’t hiring. Sure, some were denied, but even they got a business card, and a great opening line to start an email or phone call: “yes, I was the one who walked in yesterday…”
Also, remember this old saying that one of my mentors taught me:
When you go the beach, you usually see many men and women fishing at the end of a pier. There are always those (usually the majority) who bring one rod, with a small hook and weak bait. They usually catch nothing, but if they do it is a small fish. Then there are the few who bring long, sturdy rods, with tough line and huge hooks. They string the hooks up with big chunks of meat, and throw it into the ocean. It takes a long time, and usually they catch one big fish, but not much else. Then, there is always that one guy, who has the best bait, the strongest line, and the longest pole. But, he doesnt just have one pole, he has seven going at once, and consequently, he is pulling one big fish, and another, and another out of the water all day. Which fisherman do you want to be in life?
Don’t just send out one email, or call one location. Call and email as many places as possible. You don’t want to be the one who catches nothing. You want to be the one who is pulling one job offer after the other out of the sea of business.
This post teaches an important lesson that many young adults don’t understand. To get what you want in business, you need to be assertive. Go out there an ask – what’s the worst that can happen?