Breaking the Ice: From Cold Calls to Warm Connections


If you’ve been job hunting recently, you may have heard from some well-meaning people that you should cold call and talk to the company directly. Unfortunately, this strategy doesn’t work anymore. It can actually hurt your chances of getting hired!

Here’s why cold calling (and cold emailing!) doesn’t work and what you should do instead.

Why NOT To Cold Call Employers

We know cold calling used to work. What changed?

For one, technology has. Most employers no longer expect a phone call or in-person visit to be the first point of contact. In fact, they’ll usually say directly on the job application that they don’t want you to call them because that’s not how they handle applications.

Employers usually put applications through a filter to make sure they only see the best candidates. If your application doesn’t bypass the filter and you call or email anyway, you’re forcing employers to talk to you before you’ve proven you’re a good candidate. Not a good look!

Plus, since employers usually say directly on the job posting that you shouldn’t call them, they might think you aren’t capable of following directions and immediately write off your application.

So, what should you do instead?

The Art of Networking

The trick is to connect with the company long before you apply to work with them. The easiest and best way to do that is through LinkedIn! When you use LinkedIn, you won’t be holding up the customer phone line asking about a job. Instead, you’ll be slowly forming a genuine connection with your preferred companies.

You can use your LinkedIn profile to connect with influential people in your industry, mentors, coworkers, and hiring managers. When you build a network of experienced professionals, you’re more likely to hear about job offers before they go public. Plus, if your network knows you’re on the market, they might be able to connect you with an offer you never knew about!

Step 1: Finish Your LinkedIn Profile

Before you start connecting, make sure your profile shows what a great candidate you are. Include a professional photo, an about section, and updated details about your relevant experience. Here are the details on how to craft a great LinkedIn profile.

Professional photo: For your LinkedIn profile photo, you should be dressed in business attire (like for a job interview) and get a clear photo of your smiling face. Ensure there’s nothing in your background you wouldn’t want your boss to see!

LinkedIn About Section: Depending on your industry, your About section might be a concise list of achievements and a brief explanation of your future goals. Or, if you’re in a creative field, it’s your opportunity to tell your story. Either way, make sure it’s well-edited and reflective of you!

Relevant Experience: Make sure to update your profile with relevant experience for the job you’re looking for. Reframe your experience to show employers why it’s relevant to your desired role.

Step 2: Make and Leverage Your Connections!

Now, it’s time to connect— but don’t just press the “connect” button! Always send a message introducing yourself, and try to engage with their posts after they accept. If they mention an open position at a company you’re interested in, reach out to let them know you’re applying!

For example, you might say:

“Hi (Name)!

I’m reaching out to thank you for sharing the open (Job Name) posting. I’m so excited about this opportunity and will submit my application! If you have any tips for me, I would be grateful.

Thanks so much!”


Connecting with employers doesn’t have to be difficult, but it takes time and forethought. Use this LinkedIn strategy to build a network of reliable connections that can help you get hired. No cold calling is required!

Contributed by:
by Jennifer McKay, is Canada’s leading job board and online career resource for college and university students and recent graduates.

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