While it can be daunting to make a cold call to a company regarding a job opening, it can also pay off if you do it the right way. To make the best impression, you must prepare beforehand to ensure you hit the right notes.
Mention a Name
Before cold calling for a job, figure out who you need to talk with. If you're interested in a position in a company's marketing division, for example, don't just ask the receptionist for the head of marketing. Instead, specifically ask for Melissa Edwards, head of the marketing department. You don't want to sound unprepared when you make your call, so be as clear as possible about who you'd like to contact. You should be able to find the right contact person by researching the company's website and looking for department heads or hiring managers. You might also find the right contact by searching social media sites or news features on the company. Providing a specific name shows that you've taken the time to learn more about the company, which might impress hiring managers.
Plan Your Pitch
Before you make your call, carefully plan out what you're going to say. Rehearse saying everything as naturally as possible so it doesn't actually sound rehearsed. Focus on enunciating your words clearly and properly so the other person on the line will have no trouble hearing or understanding you. Also, be prepared to deal with a gatekeeper who might ask your name and the reason for your call before connecting you with the right party. Rather than say you are calling about a job opening, for example, you might say something like you are calling to discuss a business opportunity and only need a minute of the person's time.
Talk About Yourself
When you get the chance to talk to the right person, get right to the point. Remember, this person is in the middle of work, so you want to be as concise as possible. Clearly state your name and the reason for your call. Tell the other person you are calling about a specific job opening, and that you would like to send her more information about yourself. Briefly mention your relevant work and educational background and how they make you a strong candidate for the position. If the job opening is in marketing, for example, you might say that you have a bachelor's degree in marketing and that you are an assistant to the marketing director in your current job. Let the person know you will be sending along a resume and that you look forward to meeting her for an interview at some point. Provide your phone number and any other contact information. Graciously and genuinely thank the person for taking your call and listening to you.
What Not to Say
While it's important to know what to say during a cold call, it's also important to know what not to say. You want to keep your tone pleasant, but you don't want to waste time chatting about the weather or making small talk. Don't lose the other person's interest or otherwise annoy him with idle chitchat. Just concentrate on the topic at hand -- the open position, and why you are the right fit.
- Washington State Human Resources: Cold Calling for Recruits
- AOL: How to Cold Call When You're Job Hunting
- University of Minnesota Career & Internship Services: Cold Calling
- Forbes: Cold Calling for Jobs, Not Just Sales
- Outwitting the Job Market; Chandra Prasad
- The Ultimate Job Hunter's Guidebook; Susan D. Greene, and Melanie C.L. Martel
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