Cold calling is when you call a workplace to see if there are any jobs available. Contacting organisations yourself means you might be able to snap up a job before it’s advertised, and can be impressive to employees because it makes you seem proactive and interested. It’s not just a simple phone call though! It can be pretty nerve-wracking, so we’ve put together some tips to help you through.
1. Prepare before you call
To avoid too many umms and ahhs, do some research before you call. Check out the website, sections that describe what the organisation aims for. It’s best to go into the call with an idea of the kind of goals the company has set, and then to work those into your phone call.
Also, see if you can find out the name of their human resources manager, so you can ask for them directly.
2. Write a script
Another umm-and-ahh preventer is to have a script ready. While you’ll probably have to improvise at some point throughout the call (you’re not psychic so the questions they ask might not be exactly what you’ve prepared for!), having the first few lines ready means that you can make a good and professional first impression.
Make sure you state your name and the reason you are calling, something like:
“Hi my name is <your name> and I’m calling in regards to a possible job opportunity at <company name>. Who can I speak to about this?”
When they put you through, state your name again, and what qualities you feel that you have to contribute:
“Hi <Human Resources name>, my name is <your name> and I’m calling to see if there are any jobs available at <company name>. I would like to work for your company as I am interested in <what the company does>. I am <your skills> and think I would be a valuable addition to the team. Are there any positions available?”
Have a couple of run-through’s with family or friends, or in front of a mirror. While the script is important, it’s good to know it well enough so that you can sound natural when you’re calling, not like you’re just reading something out loud!
4. Remember names and be polite
Whenever anyone gives you their name, jot it down so you can use it later. It sounds professional and polite to refer to someone by their name, and it shows attention to detail. When the call is over say something like “Thanks for your time, <their name>. Have a good day.”
If you have to sneeze, cough, or you get a bit nervous and lose your voice, excuse yourself and carry on. These things happen, and the person on the other end of the phone won’t care as long as you stay on track.
5. Get contact details
If the person who manages jobs isn’t available, ask for a phone number and email address to contact them directly. A receptionist might take down your name and details but sometimes this doesn’t filter through to the right people, so it’s best to have their details so you can call back.
6. Smile while you talk
It sounds strange, but smiling not only makes you look happier, it makes you sound happier too! This tends to make whoever you’re talking too smile and then they want to help you more since you’ve brightened their day. It also makes it easier to talk to someone – they’ll be happy and relaxed which will make the call much easier to get through!
7. Be in the right environment
Make sure you’re in a quiet area where you can hear the phone and they can hear you. Best not to have loud chattering or traffic bustling around you, as it makes concentrating difficult. It also doesn’t give a good impression to the person on the other end of the call, making you seem unprepared.
8. Ask questions
Asking questions about the job and company gives the employer a chance to speak, and gives the impression that you are interested in what they do.
9. Follow up
After the phone call, follow up on any requests that they might have made quickly. If they ask you send them your CV or some further details, get an email address, and send it to them as soon as you hang up. This mean they know that you’re organised and on-the-ball.
10. They might say no – that’s ok!
Sometimes there just aren’t any jobs available, or they might not think you’re suitable. Don’t worry! No harm done. It’s better that you gave it a go rather than just sitting around and waiting for a job to land in your lap. Also, the more cold calls you make the more confident you’ll become, and the more likely you will be successful!
Want to know more? Check out Youth Central‘s page on cold calling for more tips.