While many employers require online applications as the only avenue to get a job at their company, there are ways around the requirement. Other businesses prefer to have applicants apply in person. Additionally, cold calling or walking in unannounced and uninvited looking for a job, can have its advantages. However you get in the door, there are steps you should take once you've crossed that threshold to make a great first impression and land a position.
Prepare as much as you can before entering a place of business. Learn about the company and its primary line of work. Figure out where you could fit in and have a resume ready that targets that particular job. Bring references from professionals with ties to the industry.
Learn the names of the hiring managers or owners at the company so that you can ask for them by name when you walk in the door. With an authoritative presence, you often can get by the gatekeepers whose job it is to keep uninvited job seekers out of the boss's office. According to Quintessential Careers, you need to avoid being sent to the human resources office to fill out an application, which would mean you miss an opportunity to sell yourself personally.
Dress as if you are going in for an interview. Wear your professional outfit and make sure that it's clean and pressed. Carry a briefcase or folder to add to your air of professionalism and importance. Keep your resume and letters of reference as well as other documents you may need in the folder.
Address the first person you meet with an introduction and a handshake if you don't know the name of the hiring manager. According to Job Application and Interview Advice, the first person you encounter may be the hiring manager or may have input into the hiring practices of the company.
Introduce yourself and explain that you are interested in job opportunities at the company. Tell the person that you are inquiring about jobs; don't ask if they have any openings.
Things You Will Need
- Briefcase or folder
- Professional attire
- Contact names
If the business is a retail or customer-oriented environment, get to the store early and take some time to look around and orient yourself. You may pick up tips that could help you make a more considered presentation. It also will give you time to assess the company to decide if you really want to work there.
Consider the time of day that you approach the business to catch the hiring manager at the most convenient time. For example, if you're looking for a position at a restaurant and try to speak to the manager during the lunch rush, expect to be brushed off and hustled out. If however, you show up at 3 p.m., between the lunch and dinner rush, you can earn points for common sense and consideration. According to The Ladders, you should call ahead to an office and ask the person on the other end of the phone when the best time to reach the boss might be and show up at that time.