I regularly advise my clients to use this job search tactic. There are ten reasons to do so. It has the highest probability of landing the job.
1- NEEDS DISCOVERY: A job description does not necessarily reflect the hiring manger’s highest priority needs. These can only be found out by speaking to the hiring manager and having the chance respond with examples about how you can resolve the needs.
2- DIFFERENTIATION: Perhaps the most important reason is by using this tactic you will differentiate yourself from your competition! Few people take the trouble to learn how to find out who the hiring manager is and speak to him/her. Differentiation is the foundation of a marketing yourself and creating a robust search!
3- COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE: By having direct knowledge of the hiring manager’s hot buttons and responding to them, you have the advantage over your competition.
4- RESUME AND COVER LETTER: By learning the hot buttons you can tune your resume and cover letter to be responsive to the critical need before you submit.
5- COVER LETTERS: It makes the writing a cover letter simple. You have a name, a position, a reason for writing, and the ability to reiterate the points you made during your conversation.
6- OMBUDSMAN: It offers you the chance to get your resume into the hiring manager's hand without going through the company hiring process and protocols, giving you the opportunity to have the most important person in the process to be your ombudsman.
7- MOTIVATION / INITIATIVE: It demonstrates that you are motivated, that you take the initiative. You take matters into your own hands demonstrating that you are independent, action-oriented, creative, motivated and you take the initiative in managing your search.
8- HIDDEN JOBS: Sometimes the hiring manager may not have a position that fits you but but after speaking to you, likes what you say and decides to make adjustments in the organization and create a new position just for you. It happens!
9- FUTURE JOBS: Sometimes it opens up other opportunities at a later date. Sure, you may have found these out later in your search, or never found out about them at all!
10- CONTROL: It gives you the greatest control over your destiny, making it the most effective approach to job searching.
This tactic requires considerable practice. It involves learning how to identify who the hiring manager is and how to get past the gate keepers to make direct voice contact. I offer coaching on this and many other tactics.
If you are fearful. here is a very worthwhile link with some “how-to-overcome-fear” guidelines:
Here is another link to some good advice on cold-calling, one of the many approaches. I only disagree with the point about leaving messages. Messages are too easy to delete.