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In a tough job market, finding job opportunities for your chosen field can be tough. Whether you’re looking for a professional job as a lawyer or accountant, a corporate management position, a healthcare position as a respiratory therapist, or even an administrative position like a dental assistant, it can be difficult to find employers who are openly recruiting during difficult economic times.
But even in a recession, there are still companies looking to hire and grow. The only difference is that the jobs are significantly harder to find since there are fewer positions and companies are often able to fill these positions through internal referrals. After all, when the job market is tough, it’s easy to find employees who have qualified friends or relatives anxious to fill the position.
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Why Cold Calling Can Make The Difference
While calling or emailing potential employers from out of the blue is extremely difficult, it’s one of the few ways you can reach the hidden job market where positions are filled through referrals. If your cold calling skills are nailed down, you also have the opportunity to impress your potential employer before the interview even begins.
If you’re interested in cold calling for job positions but you’re not entirely sure where to start, here are some tips that will get you started.
What do the world’s most persuasive cold callers do that is different? Would you like to know?
The answer is that they do not cold call. They spend a little bit of time doing something else before they make the call to the decision maker….and it transforms a call from a cold one into a GREAT one.
1. Research The Potential Employer
Doing your research is not only crucial for finding companies that may have openings for your position, but it’s also important that you can speak intelligently about the company and what they do. And in an age where Google is a verb, there’s simply no excuse for not doing your homework.
It’s also beneficial if you can locate a contact by name – this will greatly boost your cold call success rates compared to simply asking for the hiring manager. Perhaps the best place to find hiring contacts within a company these days is to use LinkedIn. Of course, you can also go to more “traditional” methods like doing a Google search or browsing through the company website.
2. Be Persistent But Be Polite
If you manage to get a hold of a hiring manager, remember that you may be catching them at a busy time. While you want an opportunity to sell yourself, you don’t want to be doing it while they’re trying to get rid of you to complete more pressing tasks. After you get their initial attention, ask them if it’s a convenient time to talk. If it isn’t, ask them what time you can call back that day.
One key point is to never leave things open-ended, and don’t leave it in the hiring manager’s hands. If you leave them your number, despite having some interest, they may simply not view the call as enough of a priority to return it. They could also simply forget that you ever called. Find out when you can call back, and set a firm time.
If the hiring manager expresses some interest but indicates that the company isn’t hiring, be sure to follow up on your call with an email thanking them for taking the time to talk to you, along with your cover letter and resume. While the company may not be hiring immediately, hopefully, you’ve made a positive impression on the hiring manager, and you might be on the shortlist of candidates for future hires.
3. Write An Effective Script
When you start cold calling, you should have a natural-sounding script to guide you through your cold calls. This will allow you to make adjustments if previous calls didn’t go well, and it’ll also help you make sure that you cover key points when you’re on the phone. It’s also a great way to deal with nervousness. Below are some key points that should be covered in your script.
- Explain why you’re interested in their company
- Explain why you would be an asset. Here you want to highlight your relevant background and experience. If you’ve done your research, you will want to draw parallels and examples from your experience to the company’s specific needs.
- Ask if there are any job openings at their company
- If they indicate some interest, ask them when you can make an appointment to come in and speak to them (or someone else responsible for hiring) in person.
Note that the idea of the script is to help you get an idea of what to say and build your confidence. Ultimately, you should be able to converse naturally and confidently, rather than reading from your script ad verbatim.
4. Don’t Give Up
One of the most difficult parts of cold calling is dealing with the rejection. Without a doubt, the majority of your cold calls will end in a polite indication that the company isn’t hiring. Don’t treat this as a failure, but rather as an opportunity to improve your cold calling skills. Also remember that in this economy, there is a good chance that the company simply isn’t hiring.
Even if the cold call doesn’t result in a job, you’ve still become more comfortable cold calling, and you’ve still (hopefully) made a positive impression and potentially a new contact. Remember, there’s almost always someone hiring or willing to hire, even in a rough economy. If your cold calling attempts have failed so far, know that it only takes one successful call to change your life.
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