Sending a resume or application to an employer can only achieve so much. At some point, job seekers need to be proactive and initiate contact with those employers. One of the most obvious ways to do that is with a simple phone call. Unfortunately, far too many job-seekers are reluctant to call a stranger to ask about possible job openings. For many, that cold call may seem like an unwelcome intrusion. In fact, some job-seekers assume that cold calling could reduce their chances of getting a job. Fortunately, the opposite is true.
It’s hard to land a job. The fact is that employers take note of candidates who have initiative and drive. After all, those are highly-prized qualities that most companies look for in potential employees.
By making that cold call, you can show an employer that you’re driven, assertive, and prone to getting things done. At the same time, you can achieve your goal of showcasing your skills – possibly even before your resume is read.
(We wrote a good post here on how to cold email for a job)
Of course, none of that will matter if your cold call is made without a concrete plan. In this post, we’ll explain how to cold call for a job and provide tips to help you receive the best results from that call.
The following tips can help you organize your cold calling for maximum results:
It’s wise to send a copy of your resume and cover letter to the employer before you call. Include a line in the cover letter letting the decision-maker know that you’ll be following up by phone.
Then, when you do call, you can tell the receptionist and decision-maker that you’re following up on a letter. Hopefully, the company will have already reviewed your qualifications. If not, then the cold call could provide a great opportunity to spark their interest.
Don’t just call without a plan. Take time to research the company and get the right name to call. As a rule, you are better off contacting managers than human resources personnel, so try to find the name of the appropriate department head.
If possible, reach out to your network to find someone who can help you obtain a referral. That could provide you with an immediate way to garner interest during your call.
Be prepared to make several calls. You will likely be forced to leave voice mails and may only occasionally reach a live person on the first attempt. Leave messages for a callback but let the decision-maker know that you will follow up by phone.
Finally, try to wait five to seven days before calling again, and limit yourself to no more than three or four cold call attempts per employer.
Well, if they’re ignoring you after receiving your resume and three or four phone calls, chances are they’re either not hiring or simply aren’t interested in talking to you. Move on.
That’s why it’s important to cold call several employers a day. When you’re searching for a job, that cold calling routine will broader your job search net and maximize your chances of catching someone’s interest. It will also help to ensure that your cold calling skills are developed and maintained throughout your search.
But what should you say when you make that cold call? How exactly should you approach the conversation? We’ve outlined the basic steps to ensure that you can properly prepare for what may be the most importance phone call you’ll ever make:
Good afternoon. My name’s John Smith, and I’m following up on a recent communication with your office about potential job opportunities in your department. I’m a graphic design and branding specialist with eleven years in the industry and am extremely interested in joining your company’s design team. Do you have a few minutes right now, or is there a better time to reach you?
Finally, don’t limit your cold call efforts to employers. You should also try cold calling network contacts and others, to develop leads on potential jobs. The key is to view cold calling as another tool in your job search toolkit and commit to making them part of your daily job search routine.