Many jobs never get advertised. Instead, an employer who’s looking for a worker gives the job to a person they know of or they’ve already met.
So how do you get to be that person who gets the job? One way to increase your chances of being in the right place at the right time is to cold call.
How to make a cold call
Cold calling is when you contact an employer without waiting for a job to be advertised.
It’s cold because you don’t have a ‘warm’ introduction. The employer isn’t advertising a job, and you don’t know anyone at the business. You’re using your own initiative to ask about job openings.
You could cold call:
- over the telephone
- by email
- in person.
You could also use any combination of these three.
Phone, email or in person?
Although email may seem like a quicker or less stressful option, it’s also easier for people to ignore or delete. When you call on the phone, there's more chance you'll end up speaking to someone who makes hiring decisions.
And when you're speaking to an actual person, you can find out lots of useful information. You can ask about the best way to get a job with them. You can also ask what they look for in their staff.
Sometimes just showing up in person is the best approach.
The benefits of cold calling
Even if the employer you contact doesn’t have a job going (and most times they won’t) they can still help you in other ways.
- offer to keep your resume and call if something comes up
- suggest you contact them later about a job that will be available soon
- offer you work experience, a placement or an internship
- tell you about another employer you can contact that is looking for workers.
Cold calling tips
For more advice and information about cold calling, including some step-by-step tips, visit our tips for successful cold calling page. This page also includes some scripts and a worksheet you can use to keep track of calls you make.
Be persistent with cold calling
It can be tough dealing with rejection. Don’t take it personally. Think of it as developing a thick skin. Coping with rejection is a really useful skill to have when you’re looking for work – and for life in general.
The most important thing is to keep calling until you find something. The more you do it, the better you'll get at it.
Best of luck!