Is it acceptable out there to call up the companies and ask to speak with HR reps? That's a big NO-NO here and is sure to lose you any chance you might have had.
I would discourage the phone call. By "cold call" I was rather referring to approach a company without them putting out a job listing.
Got lost in translation, sorry.
A phone call is quite personal and puts whoever you have on the other end on the spot. Also, there is not much information given to whoever you call.
I have had success with three different approaches, the personal email, networking through events and shows and then being refered by somebody else who is in a higher postion. The last one is of course the best one but if there are no contacts yet established, the other two might work just as well.
An email is very handy as you want to make it as easy as possible for the employer/recruiter to see if you might be a good fit. Important is that the email is not too long and concise, quickly outlining what it is that you can bring to them.
I would cut the whole "working hard" mumbojumbo. It is a given, of course you will work hard. Your resume and visual material will reflect this.
Just tell and show them why
you are great, not that
you are great.
If you don't hear back, I would not follow up. They have seen it, they have read it. If they ignore it, they are not interested right now but maybe get back later. There is a fine line between a harmless inquiry and spam.
All is of course based on my personal experiences and some here might very well disagree. But this has worked well for me.