What do you mean: ‘find myself a job through ‘cold-calling?’ Oh, pul-lease. Didn’t that go out with the Fuller brush salesmen in the 1960’s? How can any self-respecting job seeker these days stoop this low? Well: read on!
If it makes you feel any better about it, call this ‘unsolicited job hunting’ if you like. To be successful,you’re going to need a long, long list of prospect companies. You may want to group these companies by industry or by location, depending on which is more important to you. The main thing is that you’re looking for companies for which you see yourself working happily.
Once you’ve compiled this list, start at the top and get your dialing finger ready. What you’ll be doing is calling each and every firm to see if you can pry the name of the Hiring Manager out of the receptionist. A word of warning here: he or she may have instructions from the higher-ups NOT to release that name. Likely as not, they will want to send you along to the H.R. office. This won’t help you.
Once you’ve compiled your list, the next thing you need to do is write a kick-*** cover letter. The best strategy is to say something about each company that will make it abundantly clear that you know about the company and what it does. Be sure to enclose a professional looking resume. (i.e. not a cluttered, crowded text.) Use of interesting vocabulary will help attract attention to yourself and be sure to highlight one or two skills that you can offer the firm.
Next, wait a few days and contact the people to whom you sent a letter and ask them for an interview. Of course, you’re bound to run into the usual complement of people who will tell you that their company isn’t hiring at the moment. Don’t despair. Ask them to set up what’s called an ‘informational interview’ so that you can learn more about the firm in preparation for a time when they ARE hiring.
Once you book a meeting, you’ve got a chance to wow them with your skills and personality. (Even though you are presenting this as an information interview, be sure to do your homework ahead of time and come prepared with intelligent questions about their new product line or their history as a firm.
Your ultimate goal is to meet as many people as you can, on the theory that SOME one, some where, might just see you as a perfect fit for a position in his department.
But, don’t just make these contacts a one-time thing. Continue to send periodic letters out, asking if the hiring situation has changed. You’d also be well advised to enhance your own skill set by taking a class or two. This will give you a good reason to communicate with them once again.
Finally, don’t forget the value of a simple thank you letter expressing your appreciation for the time they spent with you. Persistence, persistence, persistence is what will win the day!