Applying for your first job can be a frustrating endeavor. With only 2% of applicants actually being called in for an interview, emailing over your resume and cover letter to a hiring manager can feel like tipping your hard work into a black hole…drifting away never to be seen again.
As inboxes overflow with messages, phone calls are re-emerging as the most efficient way of doing business. While salespeople and recruiters are well aware of this, it’s high time that jobseekers start appreciating the power of a cold call as well.
Here are 5 reasons why cold calling can land you a job interview faster than just submitting a resume:
1. Calling separates you from the crowd
A little secret among recruiters is that they rarely have the time to pour over every resume that hits their inbox. While meticulously crafting your resume will improve your prospects of landing an interview, it’s ultimately very difficult to make yourself stand out when you are just one of a hundred emails.
If you call a hiring manager, you’ve already separated yourself from the pack. A call can give a hiring manager a handle on your personality, experience, and ambition far quicker than reading your resume can. Given the time pressure that most hiring managers are under, acing a cold call should get you shortlisted for an interview before most resumes have even been opened.
2. Cold calling can demonstrate the skills required for a job
Almost every job requires drive, tenacity and strong interpersonal skills. All of these are already demonstrated when you pick up the phone and speak to a hiring manager.
By seeking out a hiring manager’s contact details and picking up the phone you have shown that you have the resourcefulness to help push a company forward. You have also demonstrated your aptitude to exactly the right person—the hiring manager.
More specific and technical skills may be discussed over the phone, so be sure to have evidence of your talents on hand before you dial.
3. A phone call provides the opportunity to pick a hiring manager’s brain
Calling a hiring manager may not only help you secure an interview at one specific company, but it can help inform future applications.
Most companies are looking for similar experience and competencies for potential employees. You can only glean so much from job specifications. A conversation with a hiring manager will allow you a far deeper understanding of what companies are looking for when recruiting.
This will allow you to craft better resumes, cover letters, and make better calls to hiring managers in the future.
4. Cold calling is more efficient than writing cover letters
No one wants to admit it, but getting your first job is a bit of a numbers game. Landing a job with just one application is almost unheard of; if you can find employment after sending out ten applications then you should consider yourself lucky. Often it requires a lot more than this.
The application is incredibly time-consuming, as resumes need to be adjusted for different companies, and a new cover letter is needed each time. A cold call can be a far more efficient way of getting yourself in front of hiring managers. In just a few minutes you can get your name in the mind of an employer, make them aware of exactly who you are, and get to know just what they are looking for with their hire.
Of course, they may still ask for a resume and cover letter following your call, but being armed with the information gained in the call can make writing your cover letter a much quicker process.
5. Cold calling can keep you motivated
Applying for jobs is a tedious, repetitive process. Writing your fifth cover letter of the day can leave you feeling drained, demoralized, and ultimately lead to you giving up on your job search efforts. Cold calling can help break this monotony. Alternating between reworking your resume, writing cover letters, and calling up companies will lead to a more varied, and therefore less boring, job hunt, helping you put in more hours every day.
You may struggle to get in touch with the right person, or outright be told that the call is pointless and that you need to submit a resume and cover letter like everyone else. However, getting a positive response from a hiring manager over the phone can really raise your morale and encourage you to hit that job hunt even harder than before.
About the Author:
Fiona Arnold is a career coach at RedCrest Careers in Yorkshire, UK. She specializes in helping school and university leaders take the best first steps in their careers.