Building a List of Employers Is a Process |

In the last article, we looked at how your youngster can start spotting trends in the advertised job market that might reveal where the best opportunities lie, not just to land a job but to develop a career. This exercise will reveal a lot of jobs that she didn’t even know existed. Now the point is that these will also be jobs that most other people her age don’t know about either; and that’s going to reduce her competition considerably. While there’s nothing wrong with a girl wanting to be a nursery nurse or a boy wanting to invent the next big computer game, there are thousands of youngsters wanting to do these things which means an awful lot of competition. In spite of the fact that there are probably more jobs in I.T. than in any other field, there are also more unemployed I.T. graduates than any other subject. It’s rather daft for everyone to be chasing the same careers when there are other careers, well-paid jobs with great job satisfaction and career prospects, into which your youngster might walk almost unopposed.Once such opportunities begin to appear, it’s time to find out a bit more about the organisations operating in these areas. Go online and visit their websites. From this, your youngster can find out a lot about:The organisation
How long they’ve been established
The markets in which they operate
Who their customers are likely to be
Terms of employment (how they treat their staff).By comparing each organisation with others operating in similar fields, your youngster will begin to get the feeling that some of these companies look better than others. They have an established reputation; they treat their staff better, whatever it is that impresses him. Whenever he gets the feeling that the vibes about this organisation are good, he should add them to his list of employers to be cultivated. Notice that the choice is up to him. They only go on his list if he likes the look of them. The next step is to write to them. I suggest writing rather than emailing, for the following reasons.Firstly, companies don’t receive nearly as many professionally written business letters as they used to. It may be thought that this makes the approach a bit old hat; but it gets attention and it’s very much appreciated. The second reason is that most organisations have spam filters, so it’s probable that an email will never be seen by the person you meant to read it.Let’s go through the process step by step.1. Where possible, address the letter to a named person. Your youngster may find this name and the person’s title in a job advert.2. The letter should start, “Dear Mr.,Mrs, Miss or Ms. A letter beginning with “Hi” is totally unacceptable.3. Next, she should say a bit about who she is and why she’s writing. She’s a student studying whatever, so she’s not in a position to apply for a job at this stage. However, she saw the recent advert, she’s visited the website and she was impressed. It’s a good idea to include a quote. A quote will tell the person reading the letter that this is not a circular that’s gone out to every employer in town. This letter has gone to his company and no-one else.4. Next, he needs to say what he’s asking the employer to do. He might say that he’d like to pick the person’s brains and he’d really appreciated the chance to talk over a cup of coffee.5. The letter should close by saying how much he’s looking forward to the employer’s reply and end with “Yours Sincerely,” and a signature.Why would an employer invite the youngster for a meeting? There are several reasons. The first is that they admire initiative and the best companies are always on the look- out for people who might be a good fit for a job of the future. Advertising jobs costs a lot of money and when the applications come in, there could be a lot of them. Having taken time to short-list people for interview, the employer will need at least one whole day to carry out the interviews. If there’s a person with whom he already has a relationship, all that’s needed when a suitable job comes up is to pick up the phone and see if that person would like to apply. If she would, the job’s hers if she wants it. How would you feel if that person were your son, your daughter? Over the moon I should think.The great thing about meeting employers on these terms is that there’s no pressure on either party. The employ can’t offer a job and your youngster is not qualified to accept one. The only decision that either of them can take is whether they feel it’s worth their while staying in touch. If they do, it’s important that your youngster makes sure it happens. He should write a letter of thanks to the employer for devoting time to him. He should send a progress report from time to time letting the employer know how his studies are progressing; anything to make sure the contact is not lost. Depending on the personality of the employer, he might even send things like Christmas cards; but this needs to be handled carefully. Some employers might see this as a bit over the top.If your youngster adds just one potential employer to his list every month, that’s 36 contacts over a 3 year period. Suppose he added 2 a month? All it needs to make this worthwhile is one phone call announcing that a job is about to be created, but it’s not going to be advertised because they think your lad is the ideal candidate; that’s all: one.