Cold CallingMonday, 2 April 2012
Today on Let's Get Working we're going to look at another method of finding a job. Last week we looked at networking, this week we'll look at cold calling. Cold calling is not only a successful way to find a job; it is also a useful networking tool.
What is cold calling?
Cold calling is the process of asking a potential employer if they have any job openings or if they are interested in hiring new staff. As I mentioned last week, 60% to 80% of jobs are not advertised and are instead obtained through word of mouth. A call to an employer at the right time could see you getting the job before it's advertised, meaning you avoid having to compete against others for the job.
There are three approaches to cold calling.
- You can ring the business.
- Go to the business' office or store and ask if there are hiring.
- Mail out your resumes in bulk to lots of businesses by envelope or email.
Businesses often appreciate the in person touch as it shows that you are keen and were interested enough to take the time and ask in person. Keep in mind annoying a staff member that is busy with their job, is a good way to get ignored.
Setting a Routine
If you are serious about getting a job it is important to get yourself into a routine. This practise has two advantages. The first is it gets you into the right mindset to look for a job. The second is when you do get a job you will be able to adjust to working life easily, because you are already used it.
When setting a routine you should keep these things in mind.
Talking to the employer
- Don't sleep in. This reduces the amount of time you have for job hunting and is an easy excuse to use to not look for a job that day. You won't be able to sleep in when you start working, so it's good to get into the habit of getting up early.
- Set a time period each day that you will look for work. You're more likely to stick with it if you set a schedule.
- Sit in a quiet place where you can look for jobs and call employers without distractions or interruptions.
- Have a pen and paper ready to take notes. This will help you remember what you have discussed with the employer and prevent you forgetting anything the employer tells you.
- Create a list of the employers you will call today. Include the business' name and contact details. You can check them off as you go and make notes to indicate if you have to send them your resume, or if they are going to get back to you.
Talking to strangers makes a lot of us nervous. To help prevent you forgetting what to say, it is a good idea to create and a practice a script. This will help you to speak clearly and sound confident.
In your script you should introduce yourself and state that you are calling to ask if they have any jobs available. You could then state any qualifications, past experience or skills you have that would make you a valuable employee. There is no need to tell them everything on your resume, just pick the things you think are the most important to the company.
Don't forget to ask them if you can send them your cover letter and resume, even if they are not currently hiring. Companies will sometimes keep resumes on file, so they have a list of people to contact if they need to hire someone in the future.
A script could look something like this.
'Good morning, my name is John. I'm calling to enquire about any opportunities you may have for employment at your business. I have a Certificate IV in Business and I think that, coupled with my strong organisation and communication skills, would make me an excellent employee for your business.
Do you currently have any positions available and would it be ok if I send you a copy of my resume and cover letter?'
Cold Calling Tips
- Create a list of all your work related skills. You can use these keywords to catch the employer's attention when describing your abilities.
- Make a good first impression. Be polite, don't mumble and try not to say too many um's. If you are going to hand your resume to the employer in person make sure you are dressed appropriately and look professional.
- Be persistent. If the person you want to talk to isn't available, try again latter or use another method of contact such as email. If the business you contacted said no, thank them and move on to the next. The more businesses you contact, the closer you get to a yes.
- Follow up. If you said you would send the employer your resume, make sure you do. If the employer said they would call you but they never did, give them a call.