I am a graphic designer with a bachelor's degree and 3 years of professional graphic design experience, and I am currently looking for a graphic design job. I am wondering what is an acceptable way to make first contact with potential employers who do not have any job openings posted?
My current plan is to send an email with a cover letter (both in the email body and in PDF form), my resume, and some samples of my work with explanatory text, all as PDFs. My idea is that most design companies won't want to talk with a prospective designer unless they have seen that their work is up to the company's standards.
However, I have the feeling that cold calling is a more proactive way of contacting potential employers.
So my question is: is it better to make first contact with potential employers via email (where they can see my work) or by phone (shows more initiative)?