Telephone contact is often the first stage in seeking a position. For calls to be successful, a job seeker must assume a confident position, think positively, be courteous, and give relevant information.
In job searching, the choice is either to make a cold call, write a letter or make a telephone call in response to an ad. Some people prefer to write letters because they are reluctant or uncomfortable to introduce themselves to strangers over the telephone. One reason is that as a job seeker can make personal contact with the potential employer you wish to reach and interact with over the telephone, whereas you cannot do this in a letter.
Tips a Job Seeker Needs to Succeed on the Telephone
- Be enthusiastic and show interest. “Smile” when you talk.
- Be patient if you need to wait or a secretary intercepts your call.
- Know your one-minute opening line. It should grab the interest of the listener.
- Speak out your purpose in calling – your interest, what you can do, what you have done.
- Be brief by answering questions as asked. Don’t over sell yourself, neither undersell it.
- Press for a personal interview at a time convenient to your target employer
- Identify your contacts, if asked for.
- If you are asked to send over a resume, ask if you can send it by email. If by post, offer to drop it off yourself. This way, you move closer to a face-to-face contact.
- If you are granted an interview, make sure you have the right time, place and date. Repeat the information for emphasis, thank him and get off the line.
Things to Prepare Before the Telephone Contact
- Have the name and title of the person to be spoken to
- Know a little bit about the company – what it does, where it is, size, etc.
- Develop a list of points to cover during the conversation
Practice How to Introduce Yourself
Who you are, what you have done, what you can do.
If possible, try to record few of your calls where you can critically listen to them yourself and self-assess to improve in your delivery.
Documents Nearby For Reference
- Resumé, to avoid getting tongue-tied.
- Some notes that you want to cover.
- Keep a calendar nearby, in case needed.
Telephone as Personal Interaction Communication
There are no more effective means of communication than personal interaction, and if handled properly, using the telephone will work in your favor. If you are held back because you don’t know the name of the person to call, call the switchboard and ask for the information. Be sure to get the proper title, right initials and the spelling of the name. If there is a secretary, get the same data on the secretary too. You will most likely be speaking with him/her at a later date, if you progress, accordingly.