Making Initial Contact
Your main aim when you make initial contact with someone is to secure a face-to-face meeting with him or her.
If you already know someone you can just pick up the phone and ring him/her for a 'chat'. If you do not know the person directly (i.e. someone referred you to them) you might prefer to write to them first and then call them a few days later.
Always mention the name of the person who referred you, as people will then take more notice of your letter/call, e.g. start your call with "Good morning my name is Christopher Jones. I am calling you because Dave Baker of Perry Engineering said I should contact you".
If you know the person well, you might arrange to go round to their house in an evening or at the weekend for a coffee, or you could go out for a drink with them. You really need to talk to the person whilst you have them on their own. If you have not seen them for a while or you lost contact with them, they may or may not be glad to speak to you - in these circumstances you really have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Business people make appointments, so if you are contacting someone at work arrange to meet them at lunchtime/after work/in the evening or at their place of work. If they will not give you an appointment, you will have to try and get as much information as possible out of them whilst you have them on the phone.
Writing an initial letter to a contact
You probably will not need to write a letter to a friend or business colleague, but if you do, keep it short and perhaps include a copy of your CV. When you are writing to someone you do not know you probably will not want to include a CV. Once you have sent your letter by First Class post, (never use second class for any of your job hunting activities) you should make a note in your diary to call them. You will find an example initial contact letter below.
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