/ Asked by Anchu
As a fresh graduate with a lack of job experience and a low GPA, I think an internship is my best choice to get some job experience and skills, and maybe get offer for a full-time position at the end of the internship. Today I saw an internship position at a multinational company on an online job board. I spent some time searching their HR staff e-mails (I thought it would be better to send the application directly to their staff rather than apply on online job board) and I found their Country Head's e-mail. I'm planning to email to ask about the internship opportunity and a specific person that I can contact to process my application. Do you think that's a good idea or I should keep searching their HR staff email? Can you help with any suggestions?
Answered by Dustin, Hiring Expert at HP Inc., on Monday, June 2, 2014
You are correct that internships are typically the best road to lead to full time employment post graduation.

Internships at large, multi-national organizations can be quite competitive so a low GPA could possibly create some additional hurdles in your efforts. You have the right idea about utilizing networking to help influence your chances, but I do believe you should redirect your outreach efforts.

Unless you already have a personal connection to a senior or executive level contact, I would avoid a cold call email. While you may hear a few stories of a friend or a random student in a similar situation reaching out to an executive about working at their company, most often there is a very low % of response - these women and men are VERY busy. Instead, I would look to focus on reaching out to hiring managers at the manager level or mid- to senior-level individual contributors in your field at your target company. Also work with your career services department at your school to see if there are any alumni that could be contacted. 

When you are doing your outreach, ensure you are crafting well-thought out and honest introductory emails. Most students forget that there is no obligation for the contact to respond or help. You should always be looking for some way you can pay it forward or return the favor to the individual you are seeking assistance from. Best of luck!
Answered by Ellen, Hiring Expert at Hospira, on Monday, June 2, 2014
My suggestion would be to follow the process that has been outlined as a starter.  I also think it is just fine to email the country head, too.  It seems like you are resourceful and that could be viewed as positive and creative.  If you do email the country head I would help the person understand how you "stand out".  That could be a differentiator for you.  You have a keep advantage with this contact.  Take advantage of that.

Best of luck.  
Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on Friday, June 6, 2014
It is fine to reach out directly to the HR staff or others at the company, however, you will still need to apply through the proper means, as this is required for most companies.  Reaching out directly to the staff at your targeted company is a good way to build your professional network and to help someone to remember your name, but it is important to target the correct people.  Start with people in the recruiting function and if you know it, the department to which you are applying.  Remember though that this is for networking and perhaps requesting an informational interview.  If you try to apply for a job in this manner, they will likely just direct you back to the web site.  It is important to clearly state your intentions when reaching out to someone at a company directly.
Answered by John, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on Wednesday, June 18, 2014
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with searching for an HR staff email and reaching out to them. By keeping the email professional without sounding too demanding can help foster a relationship with a recruiter so that you are first in their mind when they are looking through applicants for a position. Emailing a company representative shows your interest in the position and asking further questions about the internship only highlights your initial interest in that position. I would also utilize LinkedIn to network with recruiters and learn more about the company of interest.
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