When Cold Calling Can Be the Right Call

by Derek Loosvelt | May 27, 2010

Without a doubt the absolutely worst job I ever had was working as a telemarketer, cold calling folks in a suburb of Detroit, trying to convince them that they needed their furnaces cleaned. This, quite unfortunately, is not a joke. After the summer of my freshman year of college, I held about five different jobs over the course of three months. Some lasted as long as four hours (I was fired before noon on my first and only day as a landscaper by the company's owner who looked more than a little like one of the Doobie Brothers and who, after I ran into two large oak trees, discovered that I did not, as I had assured him, know how to operate industrial mowing equipment). Others lasted as long as six weeks (I worked as a stock boy for a glassware and stemware retail store called Wells Cargo, learning about flutes and crystal and the difference between red and white wine glasses, among several other, as my brothers pointed out, very un-manly things). And some, like the cold calling/furnace cleaning gig, lasted somewhere in between (I think I managed two and a half weeks on the phones before I tossed in my plastic name tag).

I bring all this up not to tell you that Gary, the guy who oversaw the room of telemarketers from aged 16 to 60, would allow anyone to leave for the day who was lucky enough to score three leads (a feat I never was able to accomplish), but to tell you about this extremely interesting and helpful blog posting entitled "Cold Calling For Your Job Search" from Caroline Ceniza-Levine on Vault's blog Inside Career Advice From SixFigureStart. Here is just one of the many passages I think may be helpful and encouraging to job seekers in the current market (not to mention may keep them from having to ask people when the last time their furnaces had been cleaned):

Your cold call to the hiring manager needs to demonstrate that you are that right person for their job. A lot of jobseekers focus their pitch on who they are – where they worked, what they did. The prospective employer cares about how their new hire will work for them and what they will do for them. Frame everything you did in terms of benefit to the hiring manager. It’s not just about having done extensive market research for Old Company A. It’s about being able to research this Market-You-Care-About for Target Company B. This means you need to know your target intimately – what they are working on, what keeps them up at night – so you can position yourself as the answer to their prayers.

Filed Under: Finance


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