Cold Calling in the Job Search


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Cold Calling in the Job Search

  1. 1. Provided by Cold Calling The Overlooked Social Media It’s rare to find someone who likes cold calling. Even the most seasoned salesperson will dread it because of the anxiety, rejection and intrusive feeling it gives. But, like it or not, searching for a job involves sales and one of the most effective means of uncovering leads is making cold calls. Especially in this market, just making yourself available isn’t enough. Cold calling may be old school, but it works. Here are a few tricks:  Shed the excuses. Sure, you’re nervous and not comfortable with this. Or you don’t like your voice, are shy and hate talking with people you don’t know. That’s normal. Step out of your comfort zone and commit to it for a full week to start. You will find that it is actually pretty easy.  Write a script and practice it by leaving yourself voice messages and listening to them. Try it out on your career counselor or colleague. Remember, you are not calling your peeps so make it more like a business call. Once you feel good about it, throw the script away and make it as natural as you can. Examples follow.  Think of this as your quest to bring sunshine into someone’s day and make it a warm call instead of a cold call. Pump yourself up and be enthusiastic. Most people will be nice, but you will get the occasional grouch. Don’t let it rub off – just move on to the next call. Spread the sunshine and have a little fun.  This is a numbers game. The more calls you make, the more rejections you will get, and that is a good thing because eventually you will get an acceptance. This could take days or weeks, but it will happen. Treat each rejection as though you were moving one step closer to your goal. Remind yourself that you only need one job and it is out there waiting for you.  Try to get the phone numbers of the decision makers. This may mean calling the company and asking for that person’s number. Expect a gatekeeper to shut you down or point you towards HR. HR can be a great resource but they may not know of all of the upcoming openings. Build a list of companies and contacts using LinkedIn or other available resource.  Never take it personally. It may be someone’s job to screen you out. They may say, “Send your resume to this email address” and expect you to go away. If it’s a viable company to work for, find other contacts and avenues. Use the rejection to your advantage. For instance, you may say. “Jim Smith in accounting asked me to send a resume but I wanted to contact you directly to learn of any opportunities available in your department”.  Timing is everything. Sometimes making your calls before or after hours will get you past the gatekeeper. Catching someone having lunch at their desk can work too. Leaving a message is fine but that should not take the place of talking with them. Record the times and mix it up. Leaving more than 3 messages may be perceived as pesky, so keep calling until you get them on the line. If they blow you off, move on.  Set daily and weekly goals. You should be able to make at least 15 calls per day, but more is better. Salespeople sometimes make 50 or more calls per day. This is hard work and takes courage and fortitude. Plan your day and make a record of every call you make on a spreadsheet and take notes. • 877.998.7654 • 1415 W. 54 • Suite 103 • Durham, NC 27707
  2. 2. Provided by  Follow up. This may be the most important facet of the job search process in general. Many recruiters depend on the candidate to follow up, reasoning that their phone call is an indication of their interest level and availability. Follow up multiple times if necessary. Send a letter too. The initiative and professionalism you show can put you on their short list.  Build your network. When you do talk with someone but there is nothing available, ask them for ideas or other people and companies they may know of that could be hiring. All it takes is that one great tip and voila, you are on your way to employment. But if you don’t ask, you won’t get. Here are some basic examples to get you started:  Good morning! My name is Frank Fletcher and I am a recent grad with a BS in Biology seeking an entry level position with your company. May I please email you my resume? I am hoping to uncover an opportunity within your department and wanted to contact you directly.  Hello! I understand from your website that there is an opening in the purchasing department, and wanted to reach out to a decision maker in the hopes that I would be considered for this position. My name is Josh Connors and I am a recent grad whose goal is to work for a company such as yours. May I hand carry a resume and meet with you about this?  I am calling in the hopes of identifying an entry level opportunity suitable for a recent business grad. Your website does not list any, but I realize that often these positions sometimes are not posted and come and go quickly. May I please introduce myself by sending a resume and following up with you, even if there is nothing currently open?  My name is Tina Dailey and learned of your name on LinkedIn. I am trying to get hired by your company in an entry level position and was hoping to network with you. Is this a good time to talk?  I am an honors graduate in computer science and although I have been told that you aren’t currently hiring, I wanted to see if there was any possibility for meeting with you in advance of future openings. I am willing to begin in a lesser role if necessary to prove my worth to your company. Is there a convenient time for us to meet?  Mr. Jones, my name is Jeff Larson and I am reaching out to HR people at companies that I would like to work for in the hopes of gaining an introduction or an interview. Your name was given to me by Sarah Murray in accounting who indicated that you were the first point of contact. How are you today?  Good afternoon Ms. Smith. Your name was supplied to me by the career center at Optimal University as being the person at your company who may be able to help with my job search. My goal is to uncover opportunities and hopefully begin the interview process with your company. You may want to experiment with different variations of your script to keep it fresh. Repetitive cold calling can become boring and the person on the other end of the phone will sense this unless you strive to keep it upbeat and fresh. If you reach an administrator or receptionist, ask them for some friendly advice if they refuse to forward your call to the decision maker. Build rapport whenever possible with everyone you talk with. As you begin to connect with people you will become more comfortable and confident. This is a learning process that has fantastic potential once you get the hang of it. • 877.998.7654 • 1415 W. 54 • Suite 103 • Durham, NC 27707