Contacting an employer directly, even before you know of an actual job opening, can be an effective, proactive strategy for obtaining a position.

This process, however, can be lengthy. In most cases, a suitable opening does not exist at the time you first contact the employer.

If you choose this route, identify companies and appropriate personnel with whom you would want to interview. Consult your friends, your parents' friends, Wellesley alumnae, and magazine and newspaper articles to help you identify key people and companies of interest.

Using your research findings, write an introductory letter that illustrates your knowledge of the industry, the company, and the ways in which your skills would be an asset to the prospective employer. It may be appropriate to follow up with a telephone call to request an informational interview with human resources.