How To Call About a Job (With Steps, Tips and Examples)
Updated July 12, 2023
Calling a company and inquiring about open positions can increase the odds of you being invited for an interview. Regardless of the type of job you are looking for, calling companies that you want to work for is likely to have a direct impact on the effectiveness of your job search. Cold calling is a valuable skill, but it requires preparation and perseverance.
In this article, we discuss when you can call a company about an open position and provide actionable steps and examples for job calls.
When to call about a job
Calling about a job can be a way of reaching out to prospective employers regarding open positions. This is usually done when you can't find any open job positions in your field through traditional methods, such as job boards, websites, social media and networking. The act of calling a person or a company that hasn't previously expressed any interest in hiring you is called cold calling.
You can also call a company when you are following up on an application that you previously submitted. A follow-up call is important when you have submitted a job application or have had an interview for the position you are interested in but haven't heard back from the employer for a week or two. Making a follow-up call can help remind the recruiter or hiring manager of your candidacy and is an extra step that shows your genuine interest in the position and the company.
What to say when calling for a job
There are several steps you can take to improve the effectiveness of your job call. Some of them are:
1. Introduce yourself
The first things you need to communicate with your contact are who you are and the reason you are calling. You should first ask if they have a few minutes to talk. If they do, you should open with a short sentence containing your full name, professional qualification and the fact that you are enquiring regarding open positions at their company.
Deepti Sharma is a certified career coach with over a decade of experience. She's a human resources consultant with experience working in the corporate world. Here's her advice about what to deciding what to say when calling to ask about a job:
Being relevant and precise can help you get the attention of a hiring manager when cold calling for a job.
2. Ask for a reschedule if they're too busy
If you begin the conversation but you believe that your contact is too busy at the moment to properly engage with your message, you can offer to schedule another time to talk. This will show respect for that person's time and the second call will no longer be a cold call, as you now have a set appointment.
3. Mention your mutual connection
If you managed to find your contact through a mutual acquaintance, you should mention that right after the introduction. Mention how you know the person who referred you, as this may improve your chances of getting an interview if the hiring manager has a favorable view of that person.
4. Quickly describe your most relevant qualifications
Once you have properly introduced yourself and your mutual connection, you can mention the skills, professional experience and other qualities that are relevant for the kind of positions you want to apply for. It's important to also describe how your acquired skills and experience fit into the company's needs and how they can be used for its benefit. You can make a summary of your qualifications within a single sentence.
5. Ask for an interview
After your contact properly understands who you are and what your qualifications are, you should directly specify your intentions to them, therefore avoiding a situation in which they may think you are only calling to collect information. You can either ask if you can set a time for an interview or inquire regarding what the company's hiring process is.
Related: How To Ask For A Job Interview
6. Be prepared for objections
Be prepared for the situation in which your contact has an objection regarding your suitability for the role, such as a lack of experience or missing key qualifications. Anticipate any shortcomings you may have and prepare ways in which you can counter objections.
Be respectful of the other person's time when calling about a job, yet try not to be hesitant of asking for more information or clarification about the position. Your enthusiasm may take you far.
7. Ask for an informational interview if there are no jobs available
If the hiring manager tells you that there are no openings at that time, ask them if you can meet for an informational interview during which both you and them can learn more about each other and how suited would you be for a future role in the organization. An informational interview can also be a good way to discover job openings in other departments and to make the hiring manager remember you if a position opens up in the future.
8. Thank your contact for their time
Regardless of how the call went, you should end by thanking the contact for taking the time to talk to you. Even if there are no available jobs at the moment, ending the call by leaving a good impression may be helpful in the future.
Tips on what to say when calling for a job
Here are a few tips you can keep in mind when you're calling someone about a job:
Reach out to your professional network. Use your professional contacts to find a person within the company that is likely to supervise the kind of job you want to pursue. Ideally, once you find a mutual connection with a hiring manager, you can ask your connection for a referral, allowing you to open the phone conversation by mentioning that your mutual acquaintance suggested that you should reach out.
Aim for department managers. Although the human resources employees are typically the ones who filter job candidates, you will likely get better odds of scheduling an interview if you reach out to department managers directly.
Send your resume and cover letter beforehand. You can improve the likelihood of your contact acknowledging your application by sending your resume to the company, along with a cover letter in which you mention your intention to inquire about any available positions that match your job qualifications. It's also a good conversation starter, as you can tell the person who initially answers the phone that you are calling to follow up on your job inquiry.
Prepare an opening statement. Calling a company that is not expecting your call means that you're likely to have a conversation with someone who is not prepared to listen to what you have to say. The best way to command their attention is by preparing an elevator pitch beforehand, stating your interest in the company and how you can improve their organization.
Examples for different parts of the calling process
Here are a few examples of conversations you may have when calling for a job:
"Good afternoon. My name is Damien Williams and I am a real estate agent with five years of big-brand experience. I am calling to inquire about a position in your sales department because I think my skills and expertise would fit your organization. May I please speak to the sales manager?"
"Hello Mr. Rodriguez, do you have a few minutes to talk? My name is Michael Gilmour, I am a certified software engineer and I am calling to inquire about any open positions in your software development department. "
Description of your skills and experience
"I am very patient and good with children and have over six years of experience in childcare, along with a bachelor's degree in early childhood education. I believe my skills and qualifications regarding childcare, in both institutions and private homes, make me a good fit for the role of teacher at your kindergarten."
Asking for an interview
"I am calling because I am very interested in your company and the way you do business and I would like to schedule an interview with you, so we can fully discuss if and how I would fit your organization."
"You mentioned my relative lack of experience and I see what you're saying. However, I possess the fundamental qualities for the role and my lack of experience can turn out to be a benefit because it would allow you to train me according to the organization's policy and procedures."
Asking for an informational interview
"I understand there are no available jobs at the moment, but I'd like to schedule an informational interview with you, so you can learn more about my skills and experience, as I may be suited for a role that will open up in the future."
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