On the hunt again!
March 29, 2012 9:16 AM   Subscribe

How is the best way to cold call companies to solicit them with your resume (and bonus, what is the best way to phrase "Inordinately useful!" as a job description when pitching self to employers)

Completely accidentally, based on my skill set I find myself with a general trend towards marketing/pr. Being laid off by my current company. I'm a college grad from Bigname Canadian university with a spunky, happy work persona and about a year and a half of generic office experience under my belt- I can smooth your spread sheet, write your training report, talk to your angry customer and sound suitably contrite, instruct your new hire on the computer system, trouble shoot when the new hire has basic computer problems, present to a group, harass your overdue bill within the limits of the law, update your webpage, fix the file corruption on your fax service, etc... I also freelance wrote, mostly SEO click bait, but delivered on demand for the deadline.

By sheer chance all of my experience are with companies doing promotions or marketing, outside initial pay-the-bills-in-college retail sales. I have an internship and a bit over a year in offices, I keep ending up on the admin side of things in marketing related call centres. I want less telephones in my life. So how do I solicit PR/marketing firms (ie those listed in the yellow pages) or other companies I might fit into in such a way to attract attention without coming across as insane/pushy past consideration and what hook should I be using to sell myself? What's the corporate vocabulary I should use? Further advice?
posted by Phalene to Work & Money (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Network. Cold calling isn't really as productive as being referred by a friend of a friend, etc. PR and Marketing is all about connections. Do you have a LinkedIn profile? Can you contact alumni of your program? And in most PR firms, insanely pushy is a feature, not a bug.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:22 AM on March 29, 2012

You're following Isarta, Grenier aux emplois, Infopressejobs and so on? Many of their jobs are PR-related. Also, call all the major festivals – they need dozens of PR people starting around now and yes, they can use people who are primarily anglo. Use LinkedIn if you can, get hold of the jazz fest, Just for Laughs and other big fests and figure out who to see.
posted by zadcat at 9:39 AM on March 29, 2012

Yeah, don't cold call.

Nothing worse than being really busy, on a tight schedule, and I get interrupted with, "There's someone on the line who wants to talk to you about possibly getting a job here." Any job listings I post always say, "No phone calls, please." If you send in a great cover letter with a good resume, I'll call you, but don't call me.

If you do cold call a company, ask who the person responsible for hiring is and the best way to contact them.
posted by HeyAllie at 9:53 AM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is all useful information...
posted by Phalene at 10:13 AM on March 29, 2012

If you want to "cold get in touch," email, don't call. I hate when people call me and put me on the spot about a would-be/nonexistent job. Emailing also puts your info in front of faces way faster than calling, and in a less anxiety-provoking way for everyone. Especially given your thoughts on phones—"I want less telephones in my life"—there's no reason to go against your nature on this one.
posted by limeonaire at 10:21 AM on March 29, 2012

Also, an email can be forwarded to the correct hiring manager/other relevant party way more easily than a phone call or voice message.
posted by limeonaire at 10:23 AM on March 29, 2012

I disagree. I've gotten jobs at least twice by cold calling the company, and I've gotten good interviews probably 4 or 5 times. However, it has to be a good cold call. If you call to ask if they are hiring in marketing, you are wasting your time and theirs.

You need to quantify what you have accomplished. Have you helped an online retailer increase traffic 200% over 6 months while improving conversions from 3% to 5%, netting in a 20% increase in revenue from the online store? Quantify exactly what you can do for the target company (in dollars, as that is their language), call and make your pitch (which will almost certainly be to a voice mail), then follow up with an email the same day. Repeat 7 days later. And by call, I mean call the hiring manager, or CEO if it is a small company, by name. Calling and asking for the person in charge of marketing gets you shunted to the voice mail box for salespeople that they will never call back. Find the right name before you call. A little creative work with Google will almost always net you the company's standard email format - which will allow you to guess correctly at their email address. Or use Jigsaw.com or a similar service.

This requires you to have a better understanding of what you bring to the table than all the generalities that you listed above. If you can't quantify it, nobody will care.

That said, if you can find networking events where your targets will be; this approach is even more effective face to face.
posted by COD at 11:04 AM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

I nth networking. Way more effective and way more fun than cold-calling. Make up some nice business cards for yourself and tell absolutely everyone you know what you're looking for. Meet with people at companies you're interested in for informational interviewing, just to learn more about the company; send them a thank you note for their time, and then a month or so later, contact the ones you're interested in and tell them that after all your research, you would really like to work for them and ask where you should direct your resume. That way your resume gets directed from within the company, by someone you've already connected with. This is also a great way to get information on skills you should develop or trends you should be aware of. And while you're networking, help other networkers find what they're looking for too.
posted by Jade_bug at 10:43 PM on March 29, 2012

Do I really need business cards when I'm next door to entry level? Between trying to advertise real awesomeness when, while useful, I've not exactly handled billion dollar accounts, I'm not exactly sure the advice is in line with my actual experience level.
posted by Phalene at 4:25 AM on March 30, 2012

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