Submitting your CV via online application form or job searching websites is by far the most popular way to apply for a job nowadays. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for applying in person though.
Spending some time handing out your CV to local companies face-to-face can be really beneficial for your job searching routine. Although it won’t necessarily help with large corporations and businesses (these generally have a structured recruitment process in place and won’t accept CVs face-to-face), it can be a great idea when approaching small or independent businesses in your local area. Approaching the manager shows a certain motivation and determination, which already makes you look good before they’ve even seen your CV!
If you’re thinking of going out with your CV to local employers, then follow the steps below to ensure you’re fully prepared.
1.Search for companies and plan your journey
Before going out, make sure you know exactly where you’re going (this is not the situation to improvise!). Scan your local area online and make a list of every relevant company or employer in the area that you want to speak to. Once you’ve got this written down, put together a planned journey route so you know where you’re going. If you’re going to places you’re unfamiliar with then make sure you take a map!
Also take into account the timing of your journey – make sure you can get to all of the locations within your specified time limit, and be aware of traffic and roadworks.
2. Know what time to go
As you can probably imagine, there are certain times in the day when a business isn’t going to be particularly welcome to a person trying to speak to the manager. Most businesses are likely to be the busiest or unavailable directly after opening, during lunch time, and just before closing.
The best time to go would be between around 10am and 11.30am (providing they’re working standard 9-5 hours), or anytime when you know they’re not likely to be too busy. Make sure you stick to these timings, or else you might be seen as little more than an irritation!
3. Know what you’re going to wear
Although this won’t necessarily be an interview (although it does happen sometimes), it’s important to look smart and presentable for the employer. This is where they will see you for the first time, and first impressions really do count for something. Dress smartly, as if you were going to an interview, and make sure that your hair and make-up is neat. Stick to the general interview rules – limited piercings, tattoos not on show, and so on.
You can can use the dress code of the business you’re approaching to help you decide what is most appropriate – if it’s something informal like a tattoo parlour then removing your piercings and wearing a suit might not be so necessary.
4. Prepare what you’re going to say
Always have something prepared in advance to say to the employer. You’ll want to speak to the manager, so walk in with a smile and ask whoever is available to speak to the manager. If they are the manager, or the manager comes out to speak with you, then hand your CV to them and explain that you’re interested in working for them. If they say that there aren’t any current vacancies available, then ask if they can keep your CV on file in case any come up.
If the manager isn’t available, then the best thing to do would be to leave your CV with the person you have spoken to, and ask that they give it to the manager for consideration. The most important thing is that you appear friendly, confident and receptive.
5. Print out enough copies of your CV
This is the last thing you need to check, but it’s very important. Make sure to print out more copies than you need, just in case you lose one, or come across another potential business that you can approach. Transport them with you in an A4 plastic or cardboard folder, and do not fold them at all. If you have two pages to your CV, then make sure to staple each copy together.
Once you’ve got all of the above elements planned, then you’re ready to go and hand out your CV. And, with a bit of luck, you’ll get a job out of it as well!