Cold-calling is the art of approaching an employer by telephone. Contacting a potential employer in such a way requires a great deal of initiative and can be quite stressful. Although some people are confident in their ability to engage in cold-calling, the majority of job seekers are reluctant to pick up the phone and make a cold call. Effective use of cold-calling is easier than you think, but it does require practice.
Cold-calling is an essential job search tool because it helps you access the hidden job market. Statistics illustrate that only one in five available jobs are advertised.
In order to effectively engage in cold-calling, you must have a clear and realistic occupational goal.
You should compile a list of all the organizations that you would like to work for. You might consider factors such as industry, geographic location, success, mandate, etc.
You should research the organizations and find as much contact information about their hiring managers as possible. If you cannot access this information, contact the organization’s main number and ask the receptionist for the name, title and extension of the hiring manager in your field. Whenever possible, you should obtain the name of the specific Hiring Manager rather than the Human Resources Manager.
Once you have completed your research, you will then be prepared to contact the hiring manager directly. Always be polite and courteous when speaking with the receptionist and be persistent without being pushy in your request to speak to the hiring manager
A cold call should consist of the following in a clear and concise manner:
- a personal introduction,
- an explanation of the reason why you are calling,
- a brief description of your career and educational background, and
- a specific question regarding job opportunities.
It might also help to adopt a more subtle approach by requesting an information interview instead of a job. This will give you a chance to meet and impress potential employers.