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Tips for Effective Phone Calls to Employers

Posted on April 16, 2014 at 11:46 AM
Tags: job search

The goal of any job search campaign is to meet face-to-face with employers in an interview. The more interviews you have, the greater your chances for success. Most job seekers, however, prefer a passive job search strategy in which they submit an application or resume and wait. Instead, we urge you to be more proactive by making direct contact with potential employers. 

One important way to connect with employers is to contact them by phone. Using the telephone may seem old school compared with using social media and other Internet resources, but research shows that this strategy can be very effective. Granted, making cold-calls to set up a meeting with an employer might not be as easy as sending a resume, but we think it’s worth the extra effort. 

Before you call you’ll want to write a telephone script. A good script should include an introduction that describes who you are and whether you were referred. State the purpose of your call and then ask for information or to schedule the meeting. Know your objective. That might be seeking information, trying to schedule a meeting or presenting your qualifications. Have a secondary objective. Often you won’t achieve your primary objective, but every telephone call is an opportunity to seek information.

Here are 10 additional tips to help you get started:

  1. Practice your skills on a spouse or friend. Record yourself to hear how you sound.

  2. Deal with voice mail. Leave your name and phone number (twice, and slowly) and the reason for the call. Be upbeat, simple, clear and concise. Avoid the monotone. If you are offered the option to review your message, do so just to check it.

  3. Make sure the greeting on your phone is polite and professional.

  4. Organize all your job search materials nearby and take notes.

  5. Listen carefully. If you sense you've called at a bad time, politely ask if there's a better time. Listen for "buy" signals, among them questions about qualifications or about other topics. They're showing an interest in you.

  6. Handle objections such as "We're looking for someone with more experience or education" or "Sorry, we're not hiring right now" with a response that continues to sell your qualifications.

  7. Follow up: The persistent 20 percent make 80 percent of the sales. While you have the contact on the telephone, agree on when you'll call back. Keep a follow-up calendar and maintain a record of your contacts. If someone agrees to call you, give your mobile phone number. If you’re employed and don’t work from home, use your mobile phone (instead of your office phone) to call employers. 

  8. Stand up during cold calls. Being erect will improve your posture and expand your lungs, making you sound more alert.

  9. If you can't get past the receptionist, try before 8 a.m., during lunch, after 5 p.m. or Saturday morning. If you still can't get through, solicit the receptionist's assistance.

  10. Look for ways to compliment the person or the company. Sell your strengths, skills and accomplishments.

Read a story about how making cold-calls led to hot prospects for one job seeker here .

 

 

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