Applying for jobs (cold calling)

There are several people who have been helping you during your EPP course - a Vocational Education and Training (VET) trainer, an English teacher, a Pathways to Work (PTW) counselor, the Work Experience Placement Officers (WEPOs), the EPU administrative staff, the college Administrative staff and the people at the workplace during your Work Experience (WE). You would have registered with a Job Services Australia (JSA) provider and may have a case worker or job network personnel, as well. But, the person who can help you the best is YOU, yourself.

searching_for_a_job.jpgYou have to take the initiative to help yourself and avail of all opportunities that come your way.Keep your eyes and ears open and be aware of everything that happens around you. Network wherever and whenever you can. Your main focus should be on getting a job.

Ask people questions especially if you think they may know the answer. There is no such thing as a wrong question. At every point of time there is an opportunity to learn new things. Learning is never-ending. Learning is continuous.

Try to develop your employability skills, improve your workability and make sincere attempts to plug those gaps that you think are obstacles to your securing a good job.Think positive and always plan your course of action. Maintain a portfolio of evidence of your work-ability. Assess your previous education and experiencedoor-knocking.jpg; take stock of your skills and attributes; weigh your strengths and weaknesses; and look ahead.

Research jobs and work areas that you think you can look at when seeking a job. Read relevant job advertisements and review company websites. Learn the trend of the contemporary job market. Identify the jobs which you think will best suit you and jobs that you think will be easier to get. Do some door knocking and cold calling, if necessary.

Plan things one step at a time and plan, carefully.

Need_a_job_t-shirt.jpgOnce you have done these things update your résumé.Now, search for job vacancies again and tailor your résumé to suit the position you wish to apply for.Write a simple and well-constructed cover letter and post the application after printing it out, neatly. Do not fax your application and only send it via the internet/ email when instructed to.

Most often you can apply for a job only when it has been advertised, but in several cases cold calling proves to be very successful. It is good to express your interest in a job that you think you have the aptitude, experience and skills for. Most employers will even be prepared to keep your application 'on hold' and when a vacancy arises would give you a call for an interview and in some cases for a job, itself. Cold calling is a traditional method of job-hunting that can be quite effective for you if you simply follow all the following steps:

  1. Research companies for the job you are interested in doing

  2. Make a list of the relevant companies, their contact information and important details especially the names of the people who have the power to offer you a job. This can be done by phoning the receptionist or front office and finding out.

  3. Tailor your résumé to suit the individual job description and write a cover letter to go with it. Remember that your cover letter is extremely important since it serves as the first point of contact with the employer.

  4. Post your job application, paying special attention to presentation and neatness. Make a note of the job, company details, date applied and the person you hafoot_in_the_door.jpgve addressed your application to. This could be saved in your career portfolio.

  5. Contact the people you sent your application to. For many people, this step is the hardest. It means getting on the phone and contacting these people and selling yourself. This is when you will do everything possible to ask for a job interview. In some cases, it would be a good idea to fix an appointment to see the person concerned and personally hand in your application, instead of posting it.

After your work experience, if you have not been offered employment and have to continue to search for a job, cold calling would be a good option. So, start preparing for it, now and work towards getting a foot in the door.

Exercise: Check your understanding of the steps in Cold Calling.

Revised: May 26, 2011 8:59 pm
@ Bernard Lewis (EPU, NAVITAS English)