Workin’ Wednesday (Part 4): How can you get more aggressive with your job search?

(To see Part 3, click here.)

Welcome back! We have finally made it to Part 4 of my series, and there are still a few things to consider when it comes to searching for jobs. In Part 3, we discussed some offline techniques for looking for jobs, including searching for jobs in your local newspaper, networking at industry events and attending job fairs. So now it’s time to look at some more aggressive ways of landing the job you want. This is Part 4: How can you get more aggressive with your job search?


Now that you’ve researched your career field, searched for jobs online and searched for jobs offline, what else is there left to do? Let’s start by discussing one of the most aggressive ways to apply for jobs: cold calling.

Remember that job statistic I mentioned in Part 2According to a Forbes article, about 80% of available jobs are never advertised. That’s a huge percentage! And cold calling is the best way to get a hold of jobs that aren’t typically publicized. When it comes to cold calling, there are three main types: cold calling by phone, cold calling by email and cold calling by dropping off your resume.

  1. Pick up the phone.
    When we think of cold calling, picking up the phone is the first thing that comes to mind. While many people advise against it, cold calling can still be effective IF it’s done correctly. Always do your research first. If you’ve come across a company that you want to work at, take the time to determine two different criteria: 1) if the company has an opening and/or need for your type of services and 2) if the company DOES NOT list jobs on its website. Only if a company matches those two criteria would it be OK for you to call them and inquire about open job positions in your career field. This way, you can always lead with “I didn’t see any jobs listed on your company’s website, so I wanted to be sure.” As part of your research, try to search for contact information for the Human Resources (HR) department or the department that you would work in if you were employed there. Better to contact someone directly than to be calling around the entire organization.
  2. Send out some emails.
    If you’re not as good with talking over the phone, you could also cold call through email. (Yes, this is a thing.) Basically, you would follow the same rules for cold calling over the phone, but translate the process to an email. Always include a clear subject line on your emails. Something like, ‘Job inquiry: Marketing position’, for example. As I mentioned before, try to find contact information for someone in HR or someone in your future department.
    Filling out website contact forms. This is essentially the same thing as sending an email, but some organizations don’t leave a proper email address on their websites. If not, they usually have some type of contact form on there. Fill this out just as you would fill out an email. And wait for your response!
  3. Drop off your resume and cover letter.
    If you’re really bold, this is a good option for you. Again, as I keep mentioning, make sure you do the proper research first. In addition to determining whether your career field is needed and if there’s someone who you can directly leave your resume with, also make sure that the building is open to the public. If it’s a super secure building, don’t embarrass yourself by trying to walk into a sealed entrance. I’ll stress this one last time. Researching before cold calling is VERY IMPORTANT if you want to be an effective job seeker.

What to say when you’re cold calling
The perfect recipe when you’re cold calling is the following:

[Introduce yourself] + [Inquire about the job] + [How many years experience you have] + [Your connection to the industry (optional)] + [Enthusiasm about joining the team] + [Your contact information] = SUCCESS!

Keep it short and keep it simple. Give them just enough information where they’re not bored or tired of you, but they want to know more.

If you don’t get a response back, it’s OK to follow up with one phone call. Especially if you spoke to someone in charge of making the decision about your employment. But that’s it. One phone call, and if you still don’t hear back, then move on. It’ll suck not getting the job, but it’ll suck even more if you’ve annoyed everyone to the point where they no longer want to hear from you ever again.

Related searches online.
Another way to find companies you’d like to apply for is by doing something called a related search. I’m not sure if Yahoo or Bing has a feature like this, but Google definitely does. Once you find a company you’re interested in, use Google’s related tab (located in the right margin) to find other companies similar to the one you’re looking at. I’ve discovered a ton of companies that I never knew existed because of this feature! As you can see in the example below, I searched for Forbes, a well-known business magazine. In the right margin, at the very bottom where it says “People also search for”, it gives you a list of organizations that are the exact same or very similar to Forbes.

screenshot of a related search

If you click “View 15+ more” to expand the list, you’ll be directed to a screen that looks like this:

second screenshot of a related search

You’ll notice that all of your similar companies are listed at the very top now. You can click on each company to learn more about it. Once you click on the company, you may also notice a new set of related companies pop up in the right margin. For example, I clicked on the company Berkshire Hathaway, a multinational conglomerate holding company. And I received a whole new related search in the right margin. View the screenshot below.

third screenshot of related searches

And the cycle goes on. Repeat these steps for every company that initially popped up on your very first search, and by the end of it all, you’ll have an extensive list of companies for you to research and apply to! It can be a lot of work, but no one said searching for jobs was easy. That’s why I have a whole series dedicated to it. 🙂

Additional tip: Stay organized.
In order for you to keep up with this many companies and this many job applications, it’s important that you stay organized. During my last job search, I kept an Excel spreadsheet of all the companies I applied to, what positions I applied for, how I applied and the statuses of my applications, if possible. That way, if I ever came across another company that sounded familiar (or any organization, for that matter), I could look it up on my job document to make sure I hadn’t already applied to them. Trust me, when you start an extensive job search process, it will be much more helpful to keep track of everything.


Well that’s it, folks! I hope that you all enjoyed reading this series as much as I enjoyed writing it. As I mentioned in Part 1, this series was meant for sharing my knowledge about searching for jobs that pertain to your career field. You can use this series as a guide, but ultimately, whether you succeed or not in your job search will depend on the work you put into it.

To review the first three parts, you can click below:

Part 1: What do you know about your career field?

Part 2: Where do you start looking for jobs?

Part 3: How can you look for jobs offline?

I’ve also added all four parts of this series into the “Workin’ Wednesday series” category. That way, you can always visit this blog and find all of the information you need in one place. (Visiting my category page will make it easier to share all four parts with your friends and family, as well.) To access my Workin’ Wednesday category, you can refer to the main menu at the top of this webpage.

I’ve thought a lot about how I wanted to end this series. And I decided to share an infographic below. The Execu|Search Group, a recruitment firm that serves accounting companies, hedge funds and private equity funds, shares its Top 10 job search mistakes to avoid. I felt like this infographic was a useful all-inclusive guide to help you all throughout your job search. Hope you enjoy!

Don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comment section below. What did you think of Part 4 of this series? What did you think about the series as a whole? What was your favorite part? What would you like to see in my series next year? I want to hear what you guys think!

Until next time!

job search infographic

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