A cold call, when you reach out to an employer who doesn’t know you, is an art. Cold-calling is an essential job search tool because it helps you access the hidden job market. 


  • Determine your career goals. 

  • Compile a list of all the organizations you’d like to work for. 

  • Research the organizations as much as possible. 

  • Get to know the names of the key people, such as the hiring manager. 

  • Develop a script to have a clear idea of your strategy. 

  • Be prepared to be turned down. 


  • Be confident, polite and courteous. 

  • Start by introducing yourself and then explain why you’re calling. 

  • Give a brief description of your career and educational background, including your skills and qualifications. 

  • Ask well-prepared, probing questions. 

  • Ask at least one specific question about job opportunities. 

  • Ask permission to stay in contact with the employer. 

What to do … 

If the person you wish to speak with is unavailable: 

Ask when would be the best time to call back; avoid leaving a message. Prepare specific questions about the organization: the person who answers your call might be able to transfer you to the right person. 

If the employer isn’t hiring: 

Ask for an information interview and find out about the employer’s recruitment periods. 

If someone asks why they should hire you: 

Make links between your qualifications and the company’s needs. Offer to send your resumé to the employer and suggest an interview to further discuss your qualifications and skills. 


  • Send a thank you letter. 

  • Keep detailed records of your calls.