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Man talking on phoneIn today’s digitally driven world, the use of a phone can seem outdated. Aside from the occasional phone interview, most professional phone calls have been replaced by Zoom. So, does cold calling–the practice of calling up a company you’re interested in working for, with no set interview or even a specific job in mind–still have a place? 

The short answer is yes. Not only does cold calling still happen, but it can be a highly effective means of introducing yourself to a company and securing a new job. Because it takes a bit more gumption than simply clicking “Submit” on an online application, cold calling can be a great way to help you stand out and convey your interest in a particular company. That said, it can also doom your relationship with the company before it even begins if it’s not done correctly. 

If you’re going to try cold calling, start with knowing who you want to speak to. If you’re calling about a specific job, do some online digging to find out who your supervisor would be. You can look on the company’s website or LinkedIn for a name and title. Even if you don’t have a specific job in mind, find the supervisor of the department you’re most interested in.

Next, plan the call itself. Choosing the right day and time will make it more likely that the person you want to speak to is available. Generally speaking, you’ll want to aim for a day in the middle of the week. You’ll want to call either late morning (when they’ve had time to get things done in the morning but haven’t yet left for lunch) or late afternoon (when the day is winding down but they’re not headed home just yet).

Once you know when you’re planning to call, write a script. You’ll want two versions–one for if you leave a voicemail, and one for an actual conversation. For the voicemail, state your full name, how you found the person’s contact information, and mention whether you are calling about a specific job or just to discuss potential openings in their department. You don’t have to go into your resume here–just say that you’ve got experience that would make you an excellent fit and that you’d like to discuss it further. End with your phone number so that they can call you back. 

If the person answers, you’ll still want to start with your name and the position or job function you’re interested in. Then, ask if they have a few minutes to talk. Have a simple bulleted list of your skills and experience handy so that you don’t forget to mention something relevant. You may be a bit nervous on the call, which makes it surprisingly easy to forget important details, even the ones on your own resume! Again, make sure they have your contact info before hanging up. 

Finally, have confidence. You’re making a cold call because you want this job and you’re sure it’s a great fit. They should want to talk to you! Far from being annoyed by your call, they’re likely to appreciate that you cared enough to do your research and have a real-time conversation. Even if the job you’re interested in doesn’t work out or they don’t have current openings, they’re more likely to remember you in the future. 

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