Cold calling an employer to ask about open positions can be downright uncomfortable. However, given the importance of “hidden” jobs, which employers never end up advertising, cold calling can sometimes help you break into a difficult job market. When you can’t gain privileged access to employers through your network, try the following tips to find job opportunities:
Call a specific person
Cold calling works better the more you research a company. Therefore, you should figure out whom you need to talk to long before you pick up the phone. Use tools like LinkedIn and a company’s website to find out the name and job title of the person in charge of hiring, and then ask for them specifically when you make the call.
Be kind to the receptionist
Many receptionists act as gatekeepers for the managers they serve. If you can learn their name before you call, you’ll be at an advantage. No matter what you do, value their time and show them respect, as their opinion of you will affect your chance of success.
Create a script
Fumbling for the right words won’t leave a good impression at any stage of the call. So write down what you want to say to the receptionist as well as to the hiring manager, then make sure you have your script in front of you as you make the call. If all goes well, you’ll end up deviating from it and having a real conversation at some point, but the script will help you get there.
Calling up and asking generally about vacancies may not work in your favor. However, if you can figure out what skills you offer to a company and create a good pitch for yourself, your call will probably go better.
Be considerate of timing
When you research your potential point of contact, try to find the best times to call. If you know they’ll be away soon, wait until a day or two after their return to get in touch with them. And during the call itself, don’t expect much of their time, as you’re probably interrupting another task. Instead, quickly make your pitch and then ask to schedule a follow-up conversation at a time that will be convenient for them.