Over the years, job searching has transformed from a cold, overall person-to-person process, to a warm, mostly convenient, technological experience. In the past, the ambitious would wait for the Sunday paper, scan the jobs of the week, re-craft their resume and cover letter (sent via snail mail), reach out to their network in hopes of a connection, follow-up a few days later to confirm receipt, and cross their fingers that the person up top would notice them and offer an interview. These days, the long, time consuming and detail oriented process of the past is completely unheard of. Even in the rough circumstances of the times, job seekers are more equipped than ever to find their next opportunity. One could even argue that they are too equipped. There are so many resources at job seekers’ fingertips, that they forget the basic rules of job seeker etiquette.
Job seekers now have the ability to view hundreds of jobs and submit dozens of resumes a week. With so many options available, it is easy to get lost in the convenience. Understandably, your biggest concern is landing the interview and getting in the door to meet the person responsible for hiring for the position. One major part of the process that is dismissed more often than not, are the telephone interactions leading up to and following the interview. If there is anything to be taken from this, remember these three bits of information on phone etiquette for job seekers:
- The Receptionist/Office Manager/Admin is known as “The Gatekeeper” for a reason. They work closely with every single employee in the company. Along with that, they talk to just about every person that calls or enter that company’s threshold (including the other job hunters).
- Whether you are calling to obtain more information about a job posting, to follow-up on a resume submittal, or interview, always be prepared to talk to the hiring supervisor.
- Do not make calls while driving! Also bad ideas: loud places and mid-activity.
All three of these tips work individually and as one whole concept. If the modern job hunter keeps these in mind, they are bound to stand out amongst their competition. A simple awareness of these tips will allow them to be better prepared to handle these telephone conversations. To expand on the concept of “The Gatekeeper”, each time a potential candidate calls into the office, their behavior is noted by this person. Whether it is good or bad, the experience is almost always relayed to the person that they are calling for. The most important aspect of your conversation is to be clear and concise about the purpose of your call.
- If you have found a position online, state which one you are calling about and how you heard about it.
- If you have sent over your resume and are following up, be sure to note that as well.
- If you are following up on an interview, mention that and ask for the individual you interviewed with.
*Helpful tip: Remembering and mentioning the gatekeeper’s name will certainly work in your favor!
- If they offer to send you to voicemail, do not waiver and make them sit through your moment of indecision. You can hang up on the way to voicemail if you change your mind!
- More importantly, always be prepared to leave a voicemail with your name (beginning and end of the message), purpose of the call, and your phone number (twice at the end of the message).
- Each person you speak to, from the gatekeeper to the hiring manager, is able to gauge your level of focus on the call so above all, be present!
The most successful job hunters are those that have not forgotten the techniques of the past. If you want the job, act like you do, from the first phone call to the last thank you card.
Author Name – Jordan Weitzel
Title – Office Manager
Location – Baltimore, MD
Byline – Jordan Weitzel is currently the Office Manager for Profiles. She is a Baltimore native who brings enthusiasm and organization to the team. She thrives on handwritten to-do lists, Jet Fuel coffee, and belly laughs.