The job seeker’s approach to cold-calling is much like the salesperson’s approach. It involves calling a company you’re interested in working for, and, basically, selling them a product — you. When done well and often, cold-calling can be very effective. It’s also worth any initial awkwardness or nervousness.
“The worst that can happen is someone says no. The best thing is they say, ‘Come on in, let’s interview,’” says career expert Wendy Enelow.
Here are five steps to effective cold-calling:
1. Call the right places. For cold-calling to work, you have to call companies that are in your industry, and your call has to be regarding a position within your profession.
2. Call the right person. Don’t cold-call the company receptionist. Have a contact name — either a senior executive or the hiring manager responsible for the position you want — and call that person. You can find the right contact person on the company’s Web site or by asking the company’s receptionist.
3. Have a short speech ready — and deliver it with confidence. “When you contact the right person you need to clearly communicate why you’re contacting them and why they would be interested in you,” Enelow says. “For example, ‘Mr. Jones, hello, my name is Susan, and I’m a purchasing manager with 18 yeas of experience.’ Immediately identify who you are and the value you bring.”
4. Follow up with a resume and cover letter. If during your conversation the hiring manager or executive asks for your resume, send it to them in whatever manner they request — e-mail, regular mail or fax — that day.
5. Follow up again. “Call and ask, ‘Did you get my materials? When can we get together to meet and chat?’” Enelow says.