Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cold Calling is a MUST for today's job seeker!

There are few things most people, job seekers included, dread more than cold calling.  But if you are serious about landing yourself a new job, COLD CALLING IS A REQUIREMENT.  Believe me, my first recruiting job was 100% commission based and picking up that phone (which suddenly seemed to weigh 50 pounds) made me sick to my stomach at first.  But it is something I had to overcome.  So do you if you want to be successful in your job search.
The biggest reason most of us don’t cold call is we’re afraid.  None of us wants to be rejected.  But if you don’t take the shot, you’ll never make the shot as they say.  As an employer, I expect candidates to take the time to find me and call me about jobs they are interested in. 
If you want the job, you’ll find a way to reach me.

But HOW?  You may be asking yourself.  Here are a few tips to help you get over your fears and stand out in the crowd of job seekers.
1.     Write a script with your pitch· Draft an outline of what you want to get across.  Then, rehearse it (in front of the mirror, on the phone with a friend, leaving yourself voicemails and replaying them to hear how you sound, etc..)  Make sure you’re concise.  There’s no need for this to be longer than 30 seconds initially, one minute at the very longest.  Be sure to sound energetic and upbeat.  Often this can be accomplished by simply standing up while on the phone.  I personally used to do 50 pushups before starting my day of cold calling.  It got the blood flowing, and it made my fears of rejection seem to disappear.
2.     Get past the secretaries and other gatekeepers. Most higher level hiring managers don’t answer their own phones.  So, how do you get past their administrative staff?  Be bold but friendly.  (example “Hello, my name is Jason Phoebus.  Could you please tell me the name of the manager involved in the hiring for xyz position?”  Or you could ask “Hi, could you please provide me with the correct spelling of the name of the manager hiring for xyz position?”)  Both are effective.  Don’t hang up the phone until you at least have the name of the person you need to connect with.  One of the best ways to avoid these gatekeepers all together is call very early or late in the day (before the secretary comes into the office, or after he or she leaves).
3.     Leave compelling voicemails. I get 10 or more voicemails a day from strangers pitching their services or candidates trying to get an interview.  I delete 9 of them usually.  Why?  They bore me to death and don’t have anything compelling in them.   BE BOLD “I understand you’re hiring for a Staff Accountant. I’d like to share with you how I might be able to join your team and have an immediate impact on your bottom line.”  Or “I understand you’re hiring for a Software Developer.  I recently just led a project of this (insert really cool project you have worked on).  I’d love to meet with you to share how I believe my skills might be able to increase your firm’s standing in the tech space.”  Whatever it is, you should practice your voicemail over and over.  Leave your friends your voicemail, and ask for feedback.  Leave yourself a voicemail.  You’ll be surprised how awful they sound at first.  But with a little practice you’ll be a pro in no time!
A couple other pointers:
o    Always speak clearly and slowly. 
o    Repeat your name (even spell it if it’s like my last name where people have a hard time understanding it) twice.
o    Repeat your phone number twice.
o    Thank them in advance for their call back.
o    Let them know you’ll be happy to call back in a day or so if that works better for their schedule (and if they haven’t called you back in a day or so, KEEP YOUR PROMISE and call them back)   
Until next time, go make yourself some cold calls and HAVE FUN DOING IT!!  You’ll be surprised how easy it is to find a new job when you’re A BOLD JOB SEEKER!!