I have a question for those of you who are working in an office (or even not) based on a conversation had today:
If a new graduate from college or graduate school came knocking on your office door looking to intern, would anyone in your office give that person the time of day? Would anyone be receptive to that person? Would you be impressed that the person came knocking on your door? Or would you prefer the person email first? Would you not like it that the person just showed up without an appointment or without checking when would be a good time for you? Would it make a difference if the person was offering to help for free or if the person wanted to be paid?
In short, how would you advise someone who was looking for an internship or job? To go knocking on doors or to send out emails? Or some other way? Is knocking on doors too old-fashioned and just wouldn't fly today? Or would it impress you?
to get a job in any kind of respectable company you will never get past the secretary at the front desk. In addition, as a manager who does a lot of hiring, my days are quite busy and would be quite annoyed with someone just showing up. send an email or pick of the phone. if we are interested we will call you back.ReplyDelete
It really depends on the place and who you meet. A bigger company, you probably won't get past a secretary, though if you wow them, you might get a call back later.ReplyDelete
A smaller one without that person in the way or if you know exactly who you're asking for you may get lucky, particularly if you can be creative in getting a few minutes of their time (taking them out to coffee, etc). I was surprised how many stories like that I found in Fortune or Inc. - I'd have expected more "No Way"s from that approach, but it got a lot of (now) well known people their first opportunities.
I think it honestly depends on the place and culture, plus a whole lot on the person coming in. By us, if they seem to be just shooting in the dark - no interest, and annoyance is likely. If they're coming in showing what they can bring to the table, then I'd be interested.
Did you by any chance just watch The Pursuit of Happyness?ReplyDelete
YD - Nope! Although I really want to see that movie. I've heard it's incredible.ReplyDelete
Anonymous and Ezzie - Thanks for your points of view.
We teach our students that cold calls are not the way to go. You need to send in a great cover letter if you are volunteering your time for an internship, and you need a resume as well. As has been mentioned,in mid to large firms you're not going to get past the receptionist and the best you can expect is to leave your resume. Even small firms check out the information on a resume before calling back potential internees or hires. It's considered more professional to "follow the rules" and send in a resume first.
1 - use the traditional route. Say, bookjobs.com to find jobs in publishing. Or Monster.com or all those.ReplyDelete
2 - network. You do this by going to events for people in your field. For example, if there's an organization the United Bottle Collectors of NYC, and you wanted to get into the rummaging-through-dustbins business, you'd go to a UBCN meeting to meet with people and get to know them.
After meeting them and getting their business card you'd ask if you can follow up to learn more bout their job. Start a correspondence. Eventually, you can let it be known that if they know of any openings, you're interested.
3 - the 'pull' route. You mention to everyone and their dog that you're dying to work in this field and see if anyone knows anyone who knows anyone who could get you an interview.
4 - do some outrageous stunt to capture the attention of your potential hirer. This could also backfire and make you look profoundly stupid.
What Anon, Ezzie, YD, and L said.ReplyDelete
watch the pursuit of happyiness!ReplyDelete
Anonymous is right, you will never make it past the front desk of a large company and might end up in an unfriendly encounter with security.ReplyDelete
I personally like email, if you sound interesting I will make some time to meet with you. I think it's rude to expect someone to drop everything and have a long chat just because you have a diploma! Respect my time and I will respect yours.
Emails show interest, just showing up shows a sense of entitlement that will not work in most large companies.
I do the intern interviewing in my office- I currently have three. Two came to me through email resumes (with references I recognized), and the third spoke to my director (one level above me) at some meeting or other who suggested he email me for an interview (with resume attached to said email). If someone came to my door, they wouldn't get past my secretary, but she does take dropped off resumes and give them to me. In that case, without introduction from someone, I would certainly read the resume- but the likelihood of it going further is not great. If the resume is stellar, it usually is sent to me with an introduction from someone pushing the particular candidate.ReplyDelete
You're on the right track. If you've got the right demonstratable skills, then an unpaid or low-paid internship will almost always get ample consideration. And that valuable experience can lead to a job offer. The problem is getting someone's attention. You need some sort of connection, whether it's a fellow alum, professional association, a friend of a friend, a parent's friend or colleague, etc.ReplyDelete
I think it's a gutsy move and would talk to the person. Everyone sends a nice email or an introduction letter but a go-getter would figure out which is the right door to knock on.ReplyDelete
I would avoid working at a stock fraud company. That might not be good on the old resume. For instance, If someone was selling cheap sponges for $20, I would know something was quite on the up-and-up.ReplyDelete
I would have security escort that person out post-hasteReplyDelete