A Step by Step Guide
Sometimes it can be more beneficial to phone a company rather than email them when looking for work experience. When you make a phone call to a company you are often redirected to the work experience coordinator where you can organise your work experience in real time while an email might not be sent to the right person and it can take some time before you get a reply. Both writing an email and making a phone call to a company can be difficult if you haven’t done it before. Here is a step by step guide to help you with calling an employer.
Step 1: Introduce Yourself
Some people like to get straight to the point with “Hi, I’m looking for work experience for transition year. Do you have any places available?”. In this case it’s best to introduce yourself first. Let’s say your name is John, you should start off like this:
“Hi, my name is John. I’m a student in Coláiste an Exampól in Cork City participating in the transition year work experience programme.”
Now the employer knows who you are, where you’re from and knows what you are calling for.
Step 2: Why are you calling?
Now it’s time to explain why you are calling. Keep it simple and clear.
“As part of the programme, I am required to find a work experience placement in an area that interests me. So I was wondering if [company] have a work experience programme for transition year students? [Or if you know the company does work experience] : I was wondering if [company] have any work experience placements available?”
Step 3: The follow on questions
After this you will most likely be asked some questions such as when can you do the placement or what’s your email. You could be redirected to someone else, asked what exactly TY work experience is or be told that the company doesn’t offer work experience etc. So it’s important to have a sheet of paper next to you with information such as your email, work experience dates your school as has assigned, your work experience coordinator’s email but also to take down details the company might give you. If the company doesn’t provide work experience or another student has already got the placement remember to say thank you because they could call you back.
If you’re redirected:
You need to introduce and explain yourself again, don’t expect them to know who you are and why you’re calling.
If you’re asked what is TY work experience you can say:
“From [date to date] transition year students in my school are required to find work in an area of interest to learn about their possible future career. The unpaid placement can last one to two weeks ( or one day a week for 10 weeks, it depends on how your school has organised TY work experience) and we are expected to write reports on our work over the course of the placement.”
If you’re given an email to contact someone who handles work experience:
Check out this article: Work Experience Letter
If you’re asked why you are interested in working with the company?
Are you interested in a course that relates to the work done in the company? What are studying or what will you be studying for your Leaving Certificate? Why are you interested in the business sector the company operates in? What subjects have you studied for the past three years that’s relevant to what the company does? What are some of your hobbies?
- Be polite. It’s important to make a good impression.
- Make sure your email is easy and professional. So rather than email@example.com you should have firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Speak clearly and make sure you are in a quiet area
- If the company says they will call you back and you called them with landline, it might be a good idea to give them a mobile number so that they can call you when you are not at home.
- It’s better to call and email on a weekday and from 9am to 5pm.