Dear students who are graduating from college in May and those who support them,
You may have received a glorious degree from one of the finest universities in the world, have a stellar GPA, and have other academic accomplishments. Good for you.
However, if you haven’t learned how to communicate, you will likely not land a job at my company or another one. The words you write tell us a lot about who you are and how much effort you’re putting into this leg of the race.
Have you googled us (or the company where you want to land)? Do you know we don’t have a “hiring manager”? We’re a small business, so it’s relatively easy to find information about who we are and who is in charge. Find out and then write to that person. Write something interesting, inspiring, and helpful. Write something that shows me you care.
Don’t be too informal, though. I get quite a few emails from students about to graduate or recent grads that say, “Hey, Laura.” We don’t know each other. Be professional and friendly.
You could also read the owner’s book (I’ve written one), read their blog (many business owners are thought leaders), follow the company on social media, and learn more before writing them.
You can contribute an idea or thought. You can give first before asking for something. The law of reciprocity will play, and you’ll be more successful in your efforts. You can mention something that attracts you to that company, such as, “I saw on social media that your company does a lot for children in crisis. I volunteered for ________ last year.”
Connection comes from knowing your audience, putting others first, having good manners, and caring. So, before you press send, check yourself and your words.
We know you’ve invested a lot and are excited to begin to contribute in a new way. We want you to succeed. Begin with building a genuine relationship with your audience. Even if you don’t land a job, you’ll earn someone’s respect. This will lead to all kinds of opportunities. You’ll stand head and shoulders above the rest.
The person who cares will always come out ahead of the one who thinks this is some sort of system and that it’s nothing but a numbers game. There are real people on the other end of your communication. Write to them for their benefit, and you’ll be amazed at the results.