How to Cold Call about Job Openings


Cold-calling can be as simple as developing a 30-second elevator speech and telling everyone you know that you're job hunting. On the other hand, cold-calling may also entail a significant amount of research, but given the return on investment in finding jobs that you may never see published, the research time can be worthwhile.

Why Cold-Calling May Be the Answer

  • The vast majority of job openings you won't find online or in print. Up to 80 percent of vacancies aren't published, according to Matt Youngquist, who runs Career Horizons. In a February 2011 interview with NPR, Youngquist said it takes more than mailing your resume and completing online job applications -- you may have to spend more time networking and less time in front of the computer screen filling out job applications to be successful in your job search.

Research Jobs and Companies

  • Let your interests, skills and aptitude drive your job search. Instead of perusing hundreds of job ads, list the companies you'd like to work for and research each one. Or, list five or so jobs that you believe you're qualified for and determine which companies hire for those positions. By reading the business section of your local news website, you may discover that a national chain store is planning a grand opening, for example.

Telemarketing Your Strengths

  • Once you've researched the employer or identified the jobs that interest you, find out the right person to contact at those companies. Determining who is the hiring manager may take some finesse, but a cordial and genuine-sounding tone can generally get you the information you need. Always research the company directory for an individual's name so you don't have to ask the operator for the "hiring manager for sales and marketing." That's too impersonal and shows that you didn't take the time to learn that information on your own. Instead, check sources such as LinkedIn and get the name of the human resources manager or the recruiting associate.

Activate Your Social and Professional Networks

  • If you belong to a trade association, professional organization or a social networking group, don't be shy about discussing your job search. The more people who know you're looking for a job, the wider your network becomes. When you attend these groups' events, have your business cards ready on which your contact information and profession are prominently displayed. A small investment to get a couple of hundred cards printed may pay off in the long run. Make new acquaintances and when they ask what you do for a living, describe your profession or trade and say that you're looking to make a change. For example, you might say, "I'm a lawyer by trade and profession, but I would like to use my talents in another capacity, such as teaching or consulting."

Organize Your Nuts and Bolts

  • Job search experts such as Miriam Salpeter, founder of Keppie Careers, encourage job seekers to time their calls so they reach the desired party at an opportune time. Refrain from calling about a job at 8:01 a.m. Monday morning. Many people are focused on planning the week ahead and getting back into the swing of things after a weekend away from work. But don't call at 4 p.m. on Friday either, when people are anticipating the weekend. Draft a script of what you're going to say to the hiring manager, state your name, why you're calling and what you have to offer the company. Near the close of the conversation, ask for face time or a brief appointment to learn more about the company in an informational interview.

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