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Telephone cold call scripts for job seekers

    A cold call is when you contact an organisation to ask if they have any jobs available. Asking about job vacancies over the phone, before they are advertised, can unearth potential opportunities and get you ahead of your competition in the application process.

    It can be a daunting task, but cold calling potential employers gets easier with practice. Here are some tips and sample telephone call scripts for contacting human resources departments and hiring managers about possible roles.

    Develop a list of cold call contacts

    Who could you phone to ask about a new job? Your network could know, so ask your:

    • Family
    • Friends
    • Former colleagues
    • Members of teams, clubs or social organisations you belong to.

    Contact everyone and tell them you’re looking for work. Ask them for contact details of people they know who may know about job vacancies, or businesses you can phone about roles.

    Also research organisations you would like to work for, and collect their contact details and key personnel you want to talk to (look up LinkedIn profiles and search corporate websites to assist with this). This could be the hiring manager, business owner or human resources manager. By finding out the name of the person you need to talk to about a position, you can ask for them by name when you call.

    Can’t find out any names? Ask instead to talk to someone about working for the organisation.

    Be prepared

    Before you make a cold call about a vacancy, research what the company does and the challenges / issues its industry faces. Try to find out what’s involved in the type of role you’re enquiring about.

    When you call, you want to demonstrate how much you know about the organisation and why you will add value to their business.

    Write a job enquiry phone cold call script

    Writing a telephone call script can help you remember what you want to say. It can also help you speak clearly. Write a script for every stage of the telephone call, including talking to a receptionist, introducing yourself and explaining the reason for your call. Write down how you plan to talk about your experience and why you’re looking for a new role.

    Practise your cold call script

    It’s a good idea to practise applying for a job over the phone with someone you trust, such as a friend or family member.

    • Pretend they’re the person you’re calling about a job.
    • Run through your job enquiry phone script and get their feedback.
    • Keep having practise runs until you’re ready to call the employer and ask for a job over the phone for real.

    When’s the best time to call about a job?

    Depending on the organisation you’re contacting, there may be better times than others to make a cold call. Try to work out when the business has busy times and avoid them, to ensure the person you want to talk to has enough time for a proper conversation.

    This will depend on the industry. For many industries it’s best to contact someone during office hours, avoiding the start or end of the working day and lunchtime. If you wanted to call about an office job, for example, the ideal time may be:

    • from Monday to Friday.
    • between 10am and 11am or 2pm and 3pm.

    Check to make sure you’re calling at a good time for the person you’re wanting to speak to. Ask if they have time to talk to you, and if they say they don’t, offer to call them back at a more convenient time for them.

    Get ready to make contact

    Make sure your phone has enough charge (and credit if applicable) before you dial!

    Besides your phone, have the following nearby:

    • Pen and paper to take notes.
    • Your resume so you can refer to it during the conversation.
    • Your cold call script.

    You may also find it helpful to dress as though you’re going to a in-person job interview. Also, sitting or standing at a table or desk can put you in a more professional frame of mind and sound more confident and professional.

    Find somewhere quiet to call, away from interruptions or distractions. Let family and friends know you don’t want to be disturbed. And once you’ve begun, don’t put the person on hold to answer another call.

    If the person isn’t available

    When you call, you might get transferred to different people in the same organisation. Introduce yourself to each new person you speak to, explaining the reason for your call.

    If you’re told the person you want to speak to is unavailable, ask what would be the best time to call again. If you get a voicemail, leave a short message. Use part of your script to let they know why you called.

    Example cold call phone scripts for job enquiries


    “Good morning. My name is [your name].”

    “Can you please tell me the name of your company’s [HR manager / manager in area you specialise in]?”

    “Would I be able to speak to [their name] please?”

    Human resources (HR) manager:

    “Good morning [use their name if you know it]. My name is [your name].”

    “I’m calling to ask you about [your profession] work that might be available at [the organisation you are contacting].”

    “I have a lot of experience in [your industry] as a [your profession].”

    “Are there any openings at your company at the moment?”

    If there are no suitable openings at present:

    “Can I send you my resume for when a suitable job comes up in the future?”

    Hiring manager:

    “Good morning [their name]. My name is [your name].”

    “I’m calling about [role] opportunities at [their company].”

    “I have [number of] years’ experience working in [your role] for [company names].

    “I am looking for a new position to [broaden my experience / take on greater responsibility / build on my management skills].”

    “Do you have any suitable openings at your company at present?”

    If they’re too busy right now to talk to you:

    [Suggest a time for them to call you back or for you to call them back.]

    “Can I call you tomorrow at 10am if that’s more convenient?”

    If there are no suitable openings at present:

    “Can I send you my resume in case any come up in future?”

    “Do you know of any other companies hiring [your role] staff at the moment?”

    If you don’t have much experience:

    “Good morning [use their name if you know it]. My name is [your name].”

    “I’m calling to ask about any opportunities for work at your company.”

    “I’ve just completed my degree / diploma / certificate in [subject] at [your education institution].”

    “I have a lot of experience in [student job / part-time role / volunteering].

    “Are there any suitable openings at your organisations?”

    If there are no suitable openings at present:

    “Can I send you my resume in case any jobs come up in future?”

    Graduate recruitment programs:

    “Good morning [use their name if you know it]. My name is [your name].”

    “I’m a graduate of the [your course] at [your education institution].”

    “Can you please tell me who I can speak to about your graduate recruitment program?”

    Work experience / internship opportunities:

    “Good morning [use their name if you know it]. My name is [your name].”

    “I’m a student at [your education institution] studying [your course].”

    “I’d like to ask about the possibility of doing work experience with [the organisation].

    Finishing the call:

    [Before hanging up, thank the person for their time, whatever the end result.]

    “Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me today.”