Effective Phone Calls with Potential Employers
Have you targeted an employer or applied for a job where you have a phone contact number? Dont just sit back and wait for them to contact you. Stand out from the pack, and help yourself prep for an interview, by calling them first.
Making a connection with potential employers by phone gives you an opportunity to probe for more information, learn additional contact names, and connect a voice with the name on your resume. You can also learn more about their industry, the companys concerns and goals, and that particular departments needs and challenges. When you know more about a prospective employer and the industry, you better position your skills and qualifications as potential assets.
When should I contact a potential employer by telephone?
- Mailed resume: follow-up call seven to nine days later (four to five days for smaller organizations)
- E-mailed resume: call one to two days later.
How should I prepare for this telephone conversation?
- Consider how your credentials and qualifications relate to the organization.
- Review specifics about why you are calling, including details about a recent event, job listing, or referral.
- Familiarize yourself with company products and services.
- Practice saying the contacts name out loud. If you are unsure of how to pronounce the name, try to confirm with an administrative assistant.
- Be ready to make notes about who you spoke with, what you discussed, information you learned, and details about your next steps.
What should I try to accomplish in the telephone call?
- Identify a need or opportunity. Do your homework first to learn about the company or update yourself on industry information. This will help you think about the employers priorities and how your skills meet the companys needs.
- Schedule a meeting. An interview is not appropriate if there are no open positions, but you could request a meeting to explore mutually beneficial ground and to further discuss your ideas and potential value.
- Identify additional contacts. Ask questions to try to identify additional networking contacts. Show initiative by directing correspondence to individuals whose names have been offered, and ask the primary contact to serve as a referral.
- Obtain a referral. If your primary contact cannot assist you directly with your strategic efforts within the organization, he or she may know of other employers or specific individuals to contact. About 50% of your initial contacts will give you referrals when asked, especially if you communicate effectively as you discuss relevant company and industry needs.
- Gather information to advance your search. This may be information about your targeted industry or company, such as recent contracts, expansion plans, diversification, and potential opportunities.
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The Conversation: What to Say When
STEP 1: Get your contacts attention and engage him/her quickly. Refer to a recent event or news story, your referral contact, or a headline that summarizes benefits you can offer.
Event Example: Mr. Smith, I recently sent you a note regarding your companys 32% increase in profits last quarter. It sounds as if there are exciting things happening in your organization.
Benefit Example: Mr. Franklin, I had a specific reason for calling you. I know the line of business you're in and something of the processes that you use. During the past 15 months, I've been able to save a company like yours about $50,000.
STEP 2: Focus on your experience and how it will benefit the organization.
Condition, Action, Benefit (CAB) Stories: When possible during the conversation, work in brief anecdotes that illustrate a particular challenge or opportunity, the action you took to handle the situation, and the resulting benefits you achieve for the employer.
STEP 3: Have well-prepared responses to objections.
Them: We don't have a need for someone in that area right now.
You: I didn't expect there would be; but, because you and I have similar interests, I thought you would be in a good position to tell me what is happening in the industry. Who else in your organization might be hiring that I should contact?
What if I speak to the contacts assistant(s)?
- Treat receptionists and assistants with the same respect and enthusiasm you would give a hiring manager.
- Smile when you speak; they'll hear it in your voice.
- Write down the persons name and address them by it.
- Reiterate your name and why you are calling.
- Thank him or her by name for their assistance.
- Take notes: assistants name, date/time you called, and information you obtained.
What if I have to leave a voicemail?
- Try to call back again first before you leave a message.
- Speak clearly and slowly and smile.
- Be prepared and get to the point; make notes in advance if necessary.
- Dont ask for a job. Explain you would like to speak about the company or company advances/achievements.
- Mention referral sources, if appropriate.
- Repeat your name and phone number at the end of the message.
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Posted in Business Other Post Date 10/19/2015