Activity: Marketing Message

Key Considerations

One underutilized way of locating job openings is to “cold call” your interested place of employment. Searching for a job can create anxiety and often times calling a business about employment opportunities can add to that nervousness of searching for a job. Because it is a proven method for locating and landing jobs, it is a method you need to use in your job hunt. If you don’t, you could miss out on an opportunity to apply for an unadvertised job. In order for your calls to work, you will need to spend some time preparing to do it right. If you do, your “cold call” could very well turn into a “hot call!”

Prepare to make some “cold calls” by completing the research activity and drafting a marketing message or what some might refer to as a script. For purposes of this activity, a marketing message will be used to make the call more personable and not scripted, pitchy, or like all other cold callers.

The positive aspect of cold calling is you can refer to your notes while you are on the call which should make you feel more comfortable during the process. As you research you will need to focus on calling a select list of employers or companies you want to work for. In addition, you need to know who the hiring contact is at the place you’d like to work. You also need to consider what time of the day and which weekday may be best to place the call. It would not be a good idea to contact an employer at a fast-food restaurant during peak times which are known to be busy such as lunch time. Monday mornings and Friday afternoons are often not ideal times to cold call an employer either.

The purpose of the call is to identify who you are and why you are calling in less than 15 seconds. Although you are creating a script to follow, your objective is not to sound scripted. Practice the script with people in your personal network and ask for their feedback. Be prepared to answer questions or respond with information that is not on the script as you cannot predict what the person on the other end of the line might say. For instance, the person may tell you they are not hiring. In that case, you need to be prepared to say something along the lines of, “I’m sorry to hear that. May I leave my name and number in case that changes in the near future?”


Develop a marketing message for your cold calls which sends a positive first impression.


Be prepared to handle the following scenarios and adjust your responses accordingly:

  • If you ask the contact person if he has five minutes to speak with you, he is probably going to say no. If possible, avoid yes/no questions. Focus instead on statements and questions which will provide you with additional information.
  • The first person you reach on the phone may be the gatekeeper to the person you are trying to reach. If the person you are trying to reach is not available, establish an appointment to speak with him.
  • The person you are trying to reach may not be available to speak with you and you may be asked to leave a voice message.
  • The person you speak with sounds distracted (ask for another time to call).
  • You may be turned down. Be gracious and continue your job search. The person you speak with may share your contact information with another employer or contact you at a later date if a position comes available.
  • You may be asked to leave your email address. Be sure you have created a professional address such as instead of

Sample Marketing Message

Good afternoon, Mrs. Anderson. My name is John Smith, and I am calling to speak with you about employment opportunities at your business. I am entering the eleventh grade next year and as an honors student, I would like to extend my learning into the workforce. I know I am capable of performing the duties associated with being a dishwasher at your restaurant and would like to discuss how I could become a part of your crew.

Develop three marketing messages for three different cold colds and possible scenarios (such as leaving a message).

Cold Call Log

Desired Job:Name of Business:Contact Person in Charge of Hiring:Phone Number:Best Time to Call:Date Called:Outcome: