Cold-Calling for Jobs? 3 Mandates From a Hiring Manager

Cold-Calling for Jobs? 3 Mandates From a Hiring Manager

College graduates through senior executives; you absolutely should be adding cold calls to your portfolio of job search activities. You may be employed and aspiring to your next move or unemployed and seeking your next job. I recommend about 5% of your job search time should be scheduled for making strong cold call pitches.

Now, the bad news: Most job search cold calls are horribly executed. As recipients, we can’t find the “delete button” fast enough!

This is a real e-mail I received September 10, 2013, from someone I don’t know:

Subject: Employment Inquiry

Are you seeking an experienced MBA professional with a strong business / IT background to be a full time salaried long-term value added asset to your organization? Someone who can contribute to your growth and profitability with strong analytical skills and creative ideas? Here is my LinkedIn profile for your consideration –

. Please let me know if you have any openings available.

Thank you,

And another one I received September 5; again from someone I don’t know:


Subject: Resume

Dear Dana,

I am looking for new job opportunities if you see any please let me know.

Please forward to appropriate department and consider the attached resume as my application for career opportunities with your firm. I have over 12 years of Investment experience at a few bulge bracket firms and have owned and managed my own investment firm. I would like to begin a new career with new challenging opportunities.

I am eager to start immediately, where I can put into practice the skills gained through my academic and professional experiences. In addition to my education, I have a unique and varied set of professional experiences that have given me the skills to apply at your firm.

I feel confident I can successfully conquer any task or challenge associated with this position by being inquisitive and result-oriented. I appreciate your consideration of this application and I look forward to hearing from you.



I hope you see the “crap” but I’ll highlight the big mistakes here:

  • Mass e-mail with no customization, no research on the recipient, no relevance.
  • Unclear as to what specific job they are looking for
  • Grammar errors
  • Desperate tone
  • No call to action

There is lots of great advice about cold calling for your next career move on the web – and, of course, in my book – but to get you started, here are 3 tricks from the hiring side of the table:

  1. Research: Too many cold call mails demonstrate a complete lack of effort by the candidate. Do your research: exhaust all options, including the company website, LinkedIn groups, Facebook, Twitter, and your local Business Journal archive. (
  2. Customization: Write a personalized, highly tailored e-mail to the appropriate executive, based on your goal. In other words, if you are looking for a finance director position, then write to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or another senior financial executive.
  3. Follow up: Don’t expect your cold call letter to deliver results. It probably won’t even be answered. But if your last sentence in your e-mail says, “I will follow up via e-mail on ,” then you need to do that. Then do it two more times after that. When you follow up, always forward the same original message, ensuring any attachments continue to be sent. Do NOT assume they remember you or have the original mail. You can follow up via the phone, as well but write out your script to leave a great voicemail! Then send an e-mail, too.


What are your concerns with cold-calling? Do you have a success story to share?



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