With all the ways we have to communicate today, email, text, fax and mail, one of the old tried-and-true methods of a job search deserves some renewed attention – cold calling. Yes, the term does instill fear in some, making the heart beat faster while the few fearless see it as a challenge to overcome. Research has shown that when done effectively, cold calling can be one of the best was to build a network that will ultimately land you the job. Don’t just grab the phone and start nervously yapping away. Instead, you’ll need a pre-plan that helps you make the most of the process.
: Spend some time beforehand researching each company and doing some legwork on the types of jobs offered and who you need to speak to. Armed with the basic company information and the confidence to sell yourself, you’ll be able to make an impression of an intelligent, go-getter who isn’t afraid to make bold moves.
Grab a friend and practice a phone conversation, as much as you can anticipate what will happen (you can’t predict everything). The more you rehearse, even the simplest of greetings and introductions, the less nervous you will be when the actual phone call takes place. Try to predict any questions that will be as of you on the spur of the moment and put some though into how you will answer. Be proactive rather than reactive.
When you do finally speak with your contact person, do not be afraid to ask for what you want. Don’t be wishy-washy, but instead politely but with authority ask for what you want. Whether it is a lunch appointment to discuss opportunities, advice on how to improve your
, or a call to request an interview, you will look confident and assured when you avoid beating around the bush.
Cold calling in the job search process takes patience, persistence and courage; odds are you’ll strike out numerous times before you get a caller who takes an interest in you. Don’t get cold feet, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain – every “no” is just one step closer to a big, fat “yes”!