Cold Calls Work Wonders

One of the lessons I’ve learned from reading What Color Is Your Parachute and many articles over at Ask the Headhunter is that the traditional method of job seeking just doesn’t work. You type up your résumé and send it off along with a cover letter in response to vaguely worded job advertisements – most of which are fictitious.

Without an extensive network of colleagues, I’m reduced to cold calling. My approach is to enter an address in the Yahoo yellow pages and find all companies listed under the Computer Software category. Some of these companies have web pages which I use to learn more about the company; but they all have phone numbers.

Getting through to a real human being can be tough. The approach I’ve found which seems to work best is to use something like the following with whomever answers the phone:

I’ve moving to the Hudson Valley area at the end of March and would like to talk with someone in your company who can share with me a little information about your company and others that develop software in the area.

Of course, most of the companies I’ve contacted have been small enough that their receptionists haven’t been trained to turn away calls like mine.