As part of the job hunt, you may be making telephone calls to prospective employers. Cold calling is never easy. It’s anxiety producing and most of the time it leads to a dead end.
But it can be a terrific way to learn about job leads and gain interviews. It’s a numbers game – the more employers you call, the more “no’s” you hear, the more you’ll learn about potential openings and the more interviews you’ll gain.
Yet often we are our own worst enemy. If we actually reach someone who matters on the phone – such as a hiring manager — we launch into our sales pitch, and out of sheer nervousness rush through it without giving the person on the other end a chance to respond.
The key to making a good telephone call is practice. You need to practice what you are going to say and how you are going to say it, according to Jim Stroud, a human resources consultant. You need to practice so that you will sound professional and confident when you are on the phone. You also need to do some research on the company you are calling.
There are few other ideas Stroud has for making an effective telephone call.
First, keep your resume in front of you. You know your work history, obviously, but in the heat of the moment, you may forget something. Also, make a few notes about the company, its history, important people and recent activities, and keep it in front of you as well.
Also, get the name of the person who answers the phone, and use his or her name when you are speaking, Stroud says. It helps to personalize the exchange, and makes it more conversational.
Stroud also advises that you adopt the same tone as the person on the other end of the line. If the person is talking in an excitable manner, you should talk that way as well. If he comes off as dry and detached, you should adopt the same tone. Stroud contends that this will help him identify with you.
Don’t be wishy-washy. Give clear, direct, decisive answers. Saying, “Maybe,” or “I think so,” or other similar phrases communicates a lack of confidence. If you don’t know an answer to something, say so, and tell the person you will find out and get back to him soon.
Let the other person hang up first, Stroud says – you might hear something useful.
If you’re looking for work in Seattle, Portland, Anchorage, Lake Oswego, Tacoma, or Chicago, pick up the phone and call the Opti Staffing Group. We have many short- and long-term temporary and even direct-hire opportunities with some of these cities’ top employers. We look forward to hearing from you.