Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cold Call Your Way to a New Job

There’s no question that the Internet has changed the way we search for jobs. Email, social media, job boards – a world of career opportunities are literally just a click away. But all this easy job seeking comes at a cost – whether you’re sending a email, letter of inquiry, or a submitting a resume – you’re just another faceless applicant among millions of job seekers.

When we apply to jobs online, we lose a good portion of our personal marketing message. There’s only so much a great LinkedIn profile or Facebook page communicates about who we really are as a person. It’s not the same as actually talking to someone real-time. On the Internet, great applicants get overlooked and great talent gets lost in translation.

So how do we stand out in such an impersonal system? This article advocates using an old piece of technology to get you in front of a human being – the tried and true telephone.
After you’ve applied to some jobs online, it’s time to call some companies and hiring managers. You’ll be seen as more driven and proactive just by making the effort. However, picking up the phone and calling a stranger can be the hardest thing in the world. Compared to non-confrontational emails, social media messages, etc., selling yourself on the phone is a whole different ballgame. But those who make the extra effort reap the rewards. So how do you actually make the call? Read below for some tips:
  1. Research who to call: This is where your network and the Internet comes in handy. It wouldn’t make much sense to open up the phone book and blindly call the receptionist at all companies you’re looking at. You need the names of hiring managers and decision makers – and your network can help. You can do your detective work on a company’s website or any of the social media networks. Ask for referrals and probe around your industry for opportunities.

  2. Make a script: If you don’t feel comfortable with off-the-cuff conversation, make a cold call script just like salespeople do. This can range from a few scribbled talking points to a full on elevator pitch. If you can’t get through to anyone, leave a short voice-mail and move on. You never know who might call you back.

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