What is Cold Calling?
Cold calling is reaching out to an employer you have never spoken to before. During the call, you only have 20 – 30 seconds to grab the employer’s attention, so your call has to be clear and direct.
Why Cold Call?
There are several reasons to make a cold call:
- To sell yourself as a potential employee
- To find out if a company is hiring
- To find out about future job leads
- To ask for an information interview
- To speak with an employer about the résumé/application you have sent them
Cold Calling Script
Creating a script will help you stay focused and organized during the call. Your script could include:
- Introducing yourself
- Your strengths, skills and accomplishments
- Interest in company and/or position
- Purpose of the call
Step One: Introduce yourself and explain why you are calling
Example 1: “Good morning. My name is Fred Jones. I’m looking for work in the graphic design field and I’d like your advice. I know that you’re busy, but I only need a few moments of your time if that’s okay with you”
Example 2: “Hi, my name is Sally Fields. Heidi Fisher suggested that I give you a call, as I’m interested in finding a job as a graphic artist. Would you have a few moments to speak with me?
Step Two: Briefly tell the employer about yourself and/or interest in the company/position
Example 1: “I’ve had two years’ experience in desktop publishing designing brochures, newsletters and training materials. I’ve really enjoyed it, and would like to move into doing graphic design full-time”
Example 2: “I’ve recently completed a Diploma in Graphic Design and I am looking for an opportunity to start my career in this field. I also have experience creating posters and flyers using desktop publishing, and I am looking for a position in which an employer could use the skills I have developed throughout school and placement experiences.”
Step Three: State the purpose of the call
Example 1: If you are interested in working for this company
- “Does your company have any current job opportunities for someone with my skills and experience?”
Example 2: If you are interested in working for a similar company
- “Could you recommend anyone who might know of such an opening? May I tell him/her that you referred me?”
Example 3: If you are interested in scheduling an informational interview
- “Would you be able to schedule a 30-45 minute information interview with me to further discuss any advice you have for someone entering this field as well as trends and changes within the industry?”
Before Your Cold Call
- Conduct research on the company you will be contacting and try to find a contact name
- Prepare and practise your ‘Cold Call Script’
- Find a quiet place without any distractions
- Have a pen and paper ready to take notes
During Your Cold Call
During your cold call, speak clearly and stay focused and positive. Keep the following in mind:
Use Positive Body Language
- Stand up when making a call because you will speak more clearly.
- Smile so you sound more natural and friendly.
Stay focused and optimistic
- Follow your ‘Cold Call Script’, but do not read word for word.
- Ask if it’s a good time for the person to talk.
- If you have called at a bad time, ask if there is a better time to call or if they can refer you to someone else within the company.
- If the employer tells you that they are not hiring at the time, ask if you can send your résumé for future opportunities or if the employer can refer you to someone else.
- Near the end of your call, ask if you can contact the employer again. If the answer is “yes”, make sure that you do!
- Always thank the person for their time and insight.
After Your Cold Call
Once you have completed your cold call, take a moment to reflect on the conversation and take note of anything you did not write down during the conversation.
If you were able to gain the persons email address or find the email address online, remember to send a thank-you letter to the person within 24-48 hours. (see Thank-you letters)
Keep a record of any important details from cold calls, including:
- company names
- the contacts name, position and contact details
- the date of the call
- any important information discussed
- if this is a company you would like to work for or not
- Next steps – for example sending your résumé or preparing for an information interview.
Lastly, continue to practice your script and continue to reach out to potential employers. The more you practice and conduct cold calls, the easier it will become.