It’s 2022. Taking the first step to connect with the employer of your choice is no longer a “radical” move to secure your employment. In fact, you are encouraged to do so in order to leave great first impressions on your recruiters, as well as a way for you to cultivate your professional network during your job search (and even after your employment).
But, just like how most career advice on the internet goes, the idea of practising them is always easier than actually doing them. Having confidence is important, but confidence means nothing without actions. So, how exactly should you go about reaching out to your future employers from here?
First, we find more information about the company.
Sometimes it’s just hard to feel excited about the company you are aiming for, even though it has all the criteria you put in your checklist for a future employer. This is a normal reaction to have when you just don’t know enough about the company. All companies have their own corporate websites nowadays, so it should not be hard for you to have a read on their profile from there. In case you think that the website does not provide enough information for you in your research, you can always go a bit further and visit career-related websites that have reviews from past and current employers about the company, such as glassdoor.com. Don’t forget about their social media accounts as well. It is easier to get a better grasp on their company culture, and how they treat their employees.
Then, we talk to the employees.
This is the part where your networking skills come in. In today’s world, LinkedIn is your best friend during your job search process, and developing your profile while connecting with professionals will be a huge advantage for you. If you look up the company’s name on LinkedIn, chances are you will find a number of its employees’ profiles linked together as well. Reaching out to these employees is the most straightforward, and often effective way to form a connection with the employer. Start a chat with current employers and there is a high chance that you will get first-hand experience of what it’s like to work at the company told directly to you.
And now, we go back to research.
Now that you already have a clearer understanding of how the culture is within the company from first-hand experience, it is time for you to dig deeper into the company’s values and beliefs. This is important because even though you might only hear good things about the company from your reading and chats with the current employees, a company’s core values and beliefs can significantly influence how passionate its employees are about their work. Find out whether your own personal values and beliefs are aligned with the company’s: is the company active in giving back to society with its activities? Do their services or products offer sustainability in all aspects of their business? In the words of today’s recruiters, would you be a good cultural fit for the company?
Once you find the similarities between your own values and beliefs with theirs, it is time for you to start thinking about how to prepare for your cover letter.
Finally, it is time to secure the connection.
After the previous step, you can now see why the company is a good fit for you, and how you will be a perfect addition to their team. You should also have an excellent idea of what the company does: their products or services, who they are and what values they stand for. At this point in time, some of the connections you made with the current employees from the company might have been expecting your application letter to come in! This is the perfect time to narrate a connection story to fill up your cover letter and in your interview.
Talk about how you were, or still are affected by the products or services provided by the company. You could be a loyal customer of the company, or perhaps you have a good friend who works for the company. But if you decide not to go with any of these, you can always be honest and tell them the story of the research you did on the company and how it helped you to see that you also share the same passion as them. Remember to make sure that your personal story connects to the company’s mission and vision.
In a nutshell, connection with the company is made through a lot of research, networking with the right people and knowing how to narrate your story based on your personal experiences with the company’s services and products. By doing these steps, not only do you create a bond with the company from scratch, but you also expand your own professional network, as well as leave a significant first impression on the recruiters once you sent in your application (and hopefully, during the job interview as well). Talk about killing two birds with one stone, right?
Good luck with your job search!