There is one absolute truth about job search: No one was ever hired without some kind of contact with an employer. Since contact is absolutely necessary, you have three choices:
- Sit by your phone and wait for an employer to call you.
- Look at the want ads, send off resumes, fill out applications, and wait, wait, wait.
- Get on the phone, call employers, set up face-to-face meetings, get job offers, and get back to work.
The first choice is a long shot. Many folks use the second choice. It does work, but is slow and frustrating. The third method puts you in touch with more employers and uncovers more possibilities. You take control and are back to work faster than ever before.
What do you do first?
Make a list of employers to contact. To do this you need to know the types of employers and businesses who hire people to do the job you want. For help doing this see the related pages in the box below.
Prepare for calling
Once you have 16-24 employers listed, get yourself ready for calling them. Here’s what you need:
- Your skills statement
- A telephone
- A pen or pencil
- Your employer contact sheets
- A specific time when you will do the calling
- A way to get rid of the butterflies in your stomach
Chasing away butterflies
- Practice what you are going to say
- Call a friend and role play a few calls
- Have your resume in front of you for reference in case you “blank out”
And remember: employers are not going to call you. You need to call them so they will find out about your skills. Don’t let anything stop you from making these calls.
Once you start, keep going. After your first call, write down the results and move on to the next. Make your 16 to 24 calls, congratulate yourself, and stop.
Look at the numbers
You may be wondering how many employers you will need to contact. The answer: as many as it takes. Keep up regular contacting until you accept a job offer. The more employers you contact each week, the quicker you will uncover openings, interviews, and offers. Other workers who have used this method have found that 50-75 calls usually leads to a job offer.
There’s another good reason for making all these calls. Repeating this process will make you feel comfortable with it. And you’ll get better at it. After 10 (or 20 or 30 or 40) calls you’ll feel more relaxed and natural with the people you speak to. You may even have some enjoyable conversations. That’s what practice can do for you.