Young woman sitting on a couch calling an employer on her mobile phone.

Calling employers to help you land a job

Calling an employer is common practice. It might seem intimidating and unnecessary, but there are lots of reasons why you should get use to getting on the phone during your job search.

We already have a great blog on getting better on the phone. We’ve put these tips together to explain the virtues of having a quick chat.

Call an employer before you apply

Calling an employer to find out a little more about a job shows you are positive and proactive. It’s a chance for you to get an employer familiar with your name so when your resume lands on their desk, they already have an idea of who you are.

It is also an opportunity to clarify selection criteria or job descriptions.

For example, a selection criteria may say something like: Provide support to the team by assisting administrative duties.

The description of the role should have already given you general information. But, to learn more about the job and strengthen your response you could call the employer and ask:

  • How large is the team?
  • Will I be managing inboxes? If so, how many?
  • How many calendars will I be monitoring and updating?

Canvasing and cold calling

It might seem like the employers you want to work with never advertise. But that doesn’t mean that they never have positions to fill.

Some employers operate by word of mouth, prefer to scout out talent, or hire by other means. So how do you get them to notice you? Cold calling could be the answer. See the below tips for cold calling employers your interested in.

Before you call

  • Get your pitch ready, including why you are interested in working for that particular employer.
  • Get your head around the organisational structure so you know you’re talking to the right person. For smaller organisations and start-ups, beware you might end up talking to the founder or owner. For larger organisations, that’s not ideal. Attempt to talk to a hiring manager or a person working in the area you are interested in.
  • Have your resume with you to jog your memory.
  • Start with the lower stakes workplaces (your less desirable) and work towards your more desirable. Perfect your pitch and learn as you go.

Tips for calling employers

Make sure it’s a good time to call

Check in that they have the 5-10 minutes to talk to you, answer your questions and arrange a follow up.

Hot tip: Call between 8:30-11:30 am or 1:30-4:30 pm.

Know what you want to say but don’t seem scripted

Adjust your pitch to your audience. It will be helpful to jot down some points that provide a brief introduction, why you want to work with them and what you can add. Its helpful if some of these are questions to open up a dialogue.

Stay cool calm and conversational. You want to stay sincere and positive!

Ask what you can do to follow up

Should you call again? Should you email your cover letter and resume? Use what you have learnt in this initial phone call to tailor your written response.

Images: iStock, giphy


  1. The problem with this post is that you never tell the receptionist your business as they might do dirty tricks and also what about having the name of the person so that you can address them by name

    1. Hi Henryk. Thanks for your comment. While its always preferable to have a name of a contact, you should also be prepared to speak to other relevant contacts in that organisation. Sometimes you can even speak to the person in the position that is looking to be filled, or somebody in the relevant team to find out more about the role. Not having a name shouldn’t deter you from calling potential workplaces. And regards to receptionists, you don’t need to share anything with them that you don’t want to. However, keep in mind it could mean your call will never make it past the switchboard. A lot of bosses will not accept calls if the receptionist can’t tell them who is calling and what it is about.

      Again thanks for the comment and have a great day!

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