You’ve got me, a Recruiter, on the phone. Now what?

I’ve gotten quite a few cold calls in my years as a recruiter from candidates looking for work. Some have caught my attention and made me want to learn more about them and others left with me with a less than flattering first impression.

Calling a recruiter and proclaiming, “I am looking for a job” is as effective an ice breaker as “Lovely weather today, no?” You’ve shown some courage and moxie to call (I’ll give you points for that) but now that you have me on the phone, you’ve got to do more to make yourself stand out.

Here are 4 things I am looking for:

  1. Introduce yourself. Have a brief elevator speech ready that can quickly tell me who you are and what your skills and experience can bring, something like, “I am Danny Smith and I am medical device equipment sales professional with over 10 years of outside sales experience. I currently work for Medical ABC and as their top performing rep covering all of Canada. I recently landed one of the biggest contracts with Trillium Health and believe I can bring the same winning formula to your hiring client.”

  2. State the reason for your call. Don’t say that, “I am checking to see if you got my resume” or “Are you still hiring?” I am a recruiter – I am always looking to hire! Instead, have a purpose in mind for the call and state it like, “I called to introduce myself and get my name on the short list of candidates to be interviewed” or “Resume writing is not my strength so I wanted a chance to give you past experiences that demonstrate I am a strong fit for the role”.

  3. Be personable. Show some personality, likability and wit. You’ve got me on the phone and now’s your chance to show your true self and make yourself memorable.

  4. Be brief. This was an unscheduled call so be respectful and mindful of my time. Keep it to a maximum of 2 minutes.

Let me conclude by saying that this post is NOT an open invitation to call every recruiter and hiring manager that posts. If they state on the posting that phone calls will not be accepted then you must respect that as a job seeker.

If you are going to cold call for a job, be ready to describe who you are and why you called but be brief and to the point.


Darryl Dioso is Senior Lead Recruiter and a Job Interview Coach at RMSG in Toronto, Canada. For close to 20 years, Darryl has been helping company clients improve through designing, implementing and managing hiring initiatives, operational improvements, and HR processes. He is passionate about business, technology, sports, travel and most of all – his family. Connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/darryldioso and follow him on Twitter at @DarrylRMSG.