4 Steps to Making Contact with Prospective Employers
With 1/3 of job vacancies in Australia not advertised, cold calling is a skill worth honing to take advantage of this hidden job market. Majority of my clients dread the ‘cold call’ to prospective employers. If you take into consideration that the word ‘cold’ does not bring a warm feeling, people attach negative meaning to the process. So flip it! Look at it as opportunity creation. You are taking control and investigating possible opportunities for employment. If it helps, re-name the process positively to trick your mind for it to be in a positive state; for example call it Career Call, Liberty Call, Scope Call, Canvasing Call, Fishing Call (Plenty more fish in the sea theory; you are looking to hook the next job opportunity) and the one I like is the Prospective Call. Another tip to get you in a positive mind frame is dress as if you have the job, wear what you would wear for an interview. You may surprise yourself at how this changes your language, posture and attitude.
Step # 1 Make a List
Gather a list of prospective employers, businesses where you would like to work or places that you know employ your skill set. The internet is a great place to source contact information and industry leaders. If you do not have access to a computer use the Yellow Pages to source contact details. If a company has a facebook page or website research the company and look at what their core business function is. Assess if there are values that you can identify with. This is important when compiling your list because you are looking for a business that you can see yourself in. If the company values don’t align with your own you would not make contact because your values would constantly be in conflict. You would not work in an abattoir if you are a vegetarian and believe in animal rights, your values would be challenged daily and you would not enjoy your work. So, be clear on what businesses you approach and consider if they will be a good fit for you.
Step # 2 Develop a Script
Keep it short! Introduce yourself, explain that you are looking for work and are making enquiries to whether there are employment opportunities that you could take advantage of. What you will find is the first time you may blunder, but persist because it will get easier and easier with each phone call. You might want to consider writing down your script word for word or in point form to help you get started, this helps, I know myself that my mind often will go blank if I don’t start out this way, but after the first two calls I generally don’t refer to the script because I relax into the process. Work out what you want to communicate and practice.
Step # 3 Connect with the Decision Maker
This is a crucial step; where possible request to speak with the Manager, HR Department or request to speak with the person in charge of recruitment. This way you speak with the person who will be looking for potential employees and to have an opportunity to build a relationship with this person means you can set yourself up in a position of influence. Keep an open dialogue, if you find that they do not have a position ask them if you could send your resume to be considered for future job opportunities. You never know where this could lead you, you may find that in a months time you could receive a call for an interview or they may share your contact details with another business or department. By connecting with the decision maker you increase your chances to be considered for employment by the one who will employ you.
Step # 4 Follow up
If the prospective employee is interested in you coming to work for them and you have emailed your resume with a letter of introduction, follow up a week later with another phone call confirming they received your resume and ask if they would like to meet you in person to see if you would be a good fit for their business. Be mindful to not pester, only leave one voice-mail if they are genuinely interested in you they will make contact.
Now that you can see clearly how to approach a business via phone, I hope you will try it as a value add to your job searching. There are many ways to look for work and I believe this is a valid one to consider alongside your normal advertised applications. Many jobs are not advertised and to not take advantage of this hidden market seems short-sighted so have a go, trial it, and see what happens! You might be surprised at how easy it is.
With a background in Retail and Banking this girl has worked at all levels of employment, from cleaning to management Rebecca has never been out of work. As a mother of two she understands the challenges women face throughout their career and adapts to whatever life throws her way.