Embrace the Cold Call to Find Your Next Job!
Making cold calls is not as common as it used to be but is still a very important tool to have in your job search toolbox. Take advantage of the fact that most people are using online services to job search or are sending cold emails. Human interaction has been restricted over the last couple of years and you may be surprised how providing that bit of person-to-person conversation can set you apart from other candidates.
Let’s discuss some things you can do to make effective cold calls:
1. Make sure the employer is buying what you are selling. Make sure to do some research on the company. Don’t launch into a small speech about skills you have that the company may not need.
2. Do your best to find the correct contact. Often, the HR Manager isn’t the person that makes the final decision on who gets hired so ask to speak directly to the one doing the hiring, even if it means leaving a message on the first attempt.
3. Call at a good time. Certain industries have peak times. Many manufacturing companies have safety meetings in the AM. Calling at the beginning of the day may not work out very well. Calling a restaurant during the dinner rush probably isn’t a good idea either.
4. Prepare notes or a script. You may want to write a script, or, at least have a summary of the most important items you want to make sure you say. This is especially important when you are just getting started. You may not need your notes when you build some confidence.
5. Have a notepad handy, and make sure your pen works on the first try. It is very embarrassing to have to ask an employer to repeat themselves multiple times because you had to get paper, then a pen, then another pen (ask me how I know).
6. Say your name and why you are calling, first. Often, people are so nervous that they forget to tell the employer the easiest pieces of information!
7. Leave a voicemail. You will never get a call back if you don’t leave a message. It is very easy to trip over your words here (again, ask me how I know). Use a script for your voicemails.
8. Send a follow up email. This may not always be possible but it’s a great way to have an employer remember your name. Send one whether you speak directly to somebody or if you leave a voicemail.
9. Keep track of your effort. Write down the day and time you called. Record any information you obtain. You may learn an employer’s phone extension or their company email. This information may come in handy down the road. Finally, write down what happened!
10. Don’t give up! Rome wasn’t built in a day. Practice, practice, practice!