Each online job ad has hundreds of applicants. This makes the hiring process more difficult for the employer, and it makes landing a job even more difficult for you. With so many applicants, how can you stand out and even bypass all that competition?

Cold call and email, but I’m focusing on cold calling today, because cold calling for jobs really does work. It is an improved job search strategy and you can almost guarantee yourself a position within the industry you desire if you work hard enough at it. All you need is a large amount of phone numbers to call, and then just play the probability game. Here is why:

1. Make a Personal Connection

When you reach someone over the phone, you make a personal connection. You become a real person instead of just one piece of paper in a pile of resumes. You create expectations and obligations to those you talk too (however small). Emotion is carried through the voice much more than it is through writing. After a good phone call, people feel much more obligated to help you and inform you about open positions. Making this personal connection is always more effective than simply sending a copy of a resume.

We like to think that all hiring decisions are made on a super rational basis, that qualifications, experience, and education are the main factors. Unfortunately, or fortunately for you this isn’t always correct. The truth is that personal connection, relationships, and who you know can you get jobs that those qualifications can’t. So work on gaining this advantage, and cold calling can do that.

The best part is that this is the easiest thing to establish. Getting a master’s degree takes two years. Contacting the hiring manager or CEO of a company takes two minutes. What do you thing holds more influence, knowing the CEO or having a master’s degree?

2. Online Job Postings Are Easy

As mentioned before, hundreds of other applicants will apply for each published online job posting. The easier it is, the more people will do it. And that means more competition. When they get so many applications, an employer will want to eliminate applicants quickly just based on small resume aspects you may have no idea about. So they will briefly scan each application or resume and dispose of the ones that do not meet their criteria.

Hiring managers do as little work as possible. They already have a ton of work to complete. Therefore, when it comes to hiring new employees, hiring managers prefer to have a lighter work load and hate sorting through hundreds of applicants. They will go to, people they know and other employees for referrals and hiring suggestions first. You want to be one of those referrals or hiring suggestions.

3. Search Within the Hidden Job Market

The best way to improve your job search is by searching within the hidden market. The hidden market consists of jobs that do not post on online job sites or advertise in general. These are found through connections and directly contacting employers. An easy way to find out about one of these is to cold call.

These jobs are open because of firings, retirements, and expected future openings. Every company has jobs within the hidden job market that they can offer, but only to people who they know exist. You can cold call to get on their radar. Eighty percent of the jobs exist within the hidden market.

4. Worst Case, you are Back Where You are Today

The best part about cold calling is that there is no risk to you. You can try it for a few days and if it doesn’t work, go back to the old techniques. But believe me; it is much better than sitting back and hoping that the perfect job comes to you.

So get out there, be aggressive, and make an attempt at cold calling. You should be able to make at least 50 cold calls per day. (Professionals can do 150+ per day) Even if you get a 1% interview rate, you are crushing it. That is one interview every two days. Good luck not finding a job if you go on one interview every two days!

5. Where to Get Phone Numbers to Cold Call…

There are many places where you can get lists of phone numbers. Some good resources are Spokeo.com, DunnandBradstreet.com, and ZoomInfo.com. I want to be truthful that there are options, but in my opinion the best option is this website, JobUnlocker.

BONUS: If you read through this entire post you must be interested in cold calling, so I wrote another post with a few cold calling scripts.