My Best Job Search Tactic: Cold-Call Your Way Into Your New Job

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My Best Job Search Tactic: Cold-Call Your Way Into Your New Job

Aside from professional sales and recruiting reps, most people would rather not make a cold call. Combine the usual discomforts of making an unsolicited contact with the high anxiety associated with job hunting and together they create a pretty stressful experience. So why would anyone put himself or herself through the agony of making cold calls to prospective employers when clicking on the Web and licking envelopes are the alternatives? The obvious answer! Cold calling can really help you stand out from the crowd and get the interview!

Cold calling is among the top, proven job search techniques, especially for accessing the hidden job market. Cold calling is more effective than just sending or emailing a resume because it allows you to create a personal relationship and have a specific contact person for follow up. Cold calling jump starts a successful search by establishing a relationship between you, the candidate, and a real live employer representative- you don’t have to wait for the employer to call back in response to your resume or inquiry, you skip right to the first and critically necessary step — speaking directly with a hiring manager, critical face time from the beginning, means a faster campaign. Its a great way to way for you to get your name short-listed for the next suitable opening. This will  provide you with a competitive advantage over other applicants.

To minimize nerves and maximize potential for more positive results, follow these tips streamlining your approach and make your cold calls more effective and easy to execute.

  1. Maximize your potential for success: choose a target company that your research shows can benefit from your skills and knowledge. The closer you fit the profile of an ideal candidate, the easier it will be to sell yourself. Match your background to the industry, your interests to their apparent strategy and your talents where you identify a challenge you can address without any learning curve. Target the right company.
  2. Find the hiring manager, or likely manager(s) and start a sequence , just like any new prospect, and start a sequence:
    *Day 1: Download Lavender, its free for job-seekers. To get Lavender for free, install it. Send an email to . Tell them you’re a jobseeker.
    Email the hiring manager1-3 sentences introducing yourself and how you’re interested in the role
    *Day 2: Cold call introducing yourself and how you’re interested in the role. If you’re lucky enough to connect, then put your sales hat on and go! Get their interest, give them your 30 second pitch selling you! and close the interview.
    Otherwise leave an enthusiastic voicemail.
    *Day 3: Email 2-3 new sentences about your qualifications and interest in the role
    *Day 4: Send a loom or vidyard 2-3 sentences introducing yourself and how you’re interested in the role
    *Day 5: Cold call number 2, no need to leave voicemail
    *Day 6: Email 2-3 new sentences about your interest in the role
  3. Timing is critical. If you sense that the person answering the phone is distracted or not cooperating, it’s okay to graciously end the call, politely arranging to call back at another more convenient time or making a note to yourself that you need to try again after you figure out how not to interrupt this person again ( ie, ask their assistant for an appointment.) Target the right circumstances.
  4. Don’t be discouraged if the cold call doesn’t get results the first time. Think of cold calling activities as an investment to establish new relationships with individuals affiliated with your target employers. Rome wasn’t built in a day; it takes patience to find the right person with whom you have something in common both professionally and personally. Target the right timing.
  5. Everyone is busy and it is often a challenge to reach someone and have a conversation. If you don’t get through on the first couple of attempts, call early or late in the day, send an email requesting a callback or telephone appointment, get an assistant to help or find another insider to arrange the call. Get to the contact’s direct extension.
  6. Be prepared to say something relevant or provide some information of value based on your company research. Have some business small talk ready to share as a warm-up rather than charging ahead with your request to solicit job-hunting help. Try to make this a two-way, mutually gratifying exchange. Target the right goals.
  7. Cold calling is a very effective way of expanding your business contacts database with an additional benefit of connecting you to people who might have a job lead now or in the future to share with you. This is not all about instant results, scheduling an immediate job interview or getting your resume read; it’s about making connections that eventually may help you find a new opportunity. Target the right network.
  8. Remember that you are the one asking for help and should be polite and respectful of the other person. At the same time, approaching cold calling activities as an exchange among equals, not as a subordinate is important. You are not asking for a job; you are proposing to make a measurable contribution for your mutual success!
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