Getting it out There
Cold Calling

Cold calling potential employers is nerve wracking, however it is a strategy that can offer the highest returns.

Most of the jobs never hit the internet or the ads, and the best way to access them is to walk in the door.

Walking in the door, also known as cold calling, may mean calling a potential employer or paying a personal visit to a company. For job seekers to ease their nerves and increase their chances of a warm reception, preparation and research are key.

Think of yourself as something you are marketing or selling. Don't waste time going to employers who are having a tough time surviving."

Check job ads to see if an employer is hiring or has recently hired, as well as determining if an industry is expanding or shrinking.

You've got to be intelligent about cold calling and the timing of your call.

It's also important to plan in advance what you're going to say when you make the call, or pay a visit.

Write out a script and practice beforehand with a friend. Every good salesperson does this.

A cold call should include a personal introduction, an explanation of the reason you're calling, a brief background and a direct question regarding job opportunities.

Always leave the door open for follow-up.

Employers are generally open to speaking with someone who has researched the company and can provide a good personal presentation. If you haven't thought it through and you're doing a shot-gun kind of broadcast then you're wasting time. Cold calling is a good idea but you should narrow who it is you're calling.

Job seekers should target whoever is making the hiring decision, and this is not always easy. Although front-line staff are adept at screening any visitors and callers to a company, a job seeker should treat them as a possible assist rather than a hurdle.

A fatal mistake is to think the receptionist has no influencel.

Pay a personal visit rather than relying on the telephone. Employers will often appreciate the effort somebody has made to approach them so directly, and job seekers hold the advantage in a face-to-face situation.

It's easy to say no over the phone, but it's harder in person.