University of South Carolina :: Darla Moore School of Business   the Competitive Edge

with Ross Macpherson, President, Career Quest

Overview/What You Will Learn

The presentation covers a method for contacting a dream company cold, without a referral or contact.  The strategy is a high-yield approach with a solid return on time invested to open doors.

Key Points

  • The recommended approach to contacting a dream company cold is as follows:
    1. Don’t contact HR
      • They only kick into gear when a business manager asks them to start a search.  If no one is saying to HR “I need someone like you,” then there is nothing they are going to do.
    2. Identify the person to whom you would report, the person who would make the decision to hire you.
      • This person knows where the business is going and what the need will be 3 to 9 months down the line.
    3. Don’t send your resume when you contact the company the first time; rather send a letter that addresses a specific business problem or opportunity.
    4. Conduct smart research into your area of interest that opens the door to a conversation about business challenges and opportunities
    5. Present yourself as a solution or research for things the business manager is going to need.
    6. Close the letter saying you will follow up in a few days, i.e., “I will follow up in a few days.  Let’s talk about this.”

Expert BIO
with Ross Macpherson, President, Career Quest

Ross Macpherson is the President of Career Quest, a Certified Personal Branding Strategist, Certified Online Identity Strategist, Certified Interview and Job Search Coach, and is recognized as one of the best resume writers in North America. With over 15 years experience in the career industry, he specializes in advanced strategies that help senior and executive professionals throughout the US, Canada, and internationally. His work has been featured in 18 career publications.


Ross routinely speaks to MBA programs across North America, and is known for delivering powerful and entertaining sessions that teach real-world success strategies. He has also spoken at major career events, global industry conferences, professional associations, and executive networking groups across the U.S. and Canada, and his high-energy style has consistently put him at the top of the career management speaking circuit. Contact Ross at