Internship hunting is not easy – there’s no doubt about it. Recently I was tasked with finding an internship for my final year unit at university. I started applying about a month in advance thinking I had plenty of time to find one before the semester started. So I chose the least confrontational option: email. During that time, I emailed more than 20 companies in the hope that at least one would reply. Sure enough…only one replied to tell me I was unsuccessful.
With deadlines looming and frustration mounting, I began to panic that I would not find an intern in time for the semester (by that time, I had pretty much accepted that I wouldn’t graduate this year). For some people speaking on the phone is second nature, but for me, it was certainly not. Unwilling to give up, however, I took matters into my own hands and began calling companies, including the ones I had already emailed.
Countless calls later, I stumbled across a company who took me in as their intern! From my experience, here are 5 reasons why calling beats emailing when applying for internships/jobs:
- Spam mail is not our friend
I called one company to follow up on an email and it turns out it had been sitting in their spam bin for about 3 weeks! It could have gone completely unnoticed if I hadn’t called them!
- Show initiative
Talking to an employer over the phone can signify your eagerness for the position and can set off a good impression (so long as you research who you are calling, and you call at a reasonable time!).
- Sell yourself over the phone
Calling not only shows initiative but sets up an opportunity for you to sell your skills over the phone before you see your potential employer face to face.
- Call first, email later.
Calling lets you scope out the job/internship opportunity to see if you are suitable for the role or if the company needs to fill a position. It’s about quality over quantity – saves you emailing when companies aren’t even interested. That way, you can invest your time on the ones that can give you a chance.
- Open doors
Many of the companies I called had not advertised an internship position but upon calling, some companies changed their mind and realised they could do with some help!
Undoubtedly, calling can make a difference to your application. If you really want it to happen, you’ve got to pick up that phone!
By Jessica Wong