A proper phone conversation can be completely daunting to some people. However as job seekers, it’s an essential skill for moving forward in a job search and career. Especially important is the ability to conduct an effective follow-up phone call concerning recently sent credentials. A follow-up phone call shows that you have the initiative, motivation, and concern to advance your own career.
But how do job seekers do this? When do they do this? What do they say? Here are a few suggestions to help job seekers maneuver these few, vital minutes over the telephone with an employer.
How long should job seekers wait to conduct a follow-up phone call after sending a resume and cover letter? In my own job search, when I sent in an application I tried to make phone contact with someone at that company or organization a week after I sent my credentials. This may not be the magic number for everyone, but it is a window of time that allows for credentials to be received and possibly reviewed. If they haven’t been reviewed in that time, you will be told so over the phone. It’s then good to ask about an appropriate time to call back.
Once you have someone on the line, what should you say to them to make yourself stand out? It never hurts to have something rehearsed so that you don’t hesitate or fall victim to the time wasting “um, um.” However, before you go into a rehearsed pitch make sure that, if possible, you’re speaking to someone with hiring power. While talking to the receptionist may make for a pleasant little chat, she probably won’t be able to offer you a job interview. You’re likely to have more impact with someone close to the resumes.
Once this individual is on the other end, you should be clear about your purpose. Introduce yourself and mention that you recently sent in your credentials. Ask what the next steps are in the hiring process and if they’re currently scheduling interviews. It’s alright to be forthright and ask about a job interview. This demonstrates to the hiring manager that you are confident in your credentials and willing to take the necessary steps to secure a position. If you speak with them as if it’s inevitable that you’ll have a job interview, you may increase your chances of actually getting one. Also by doing so, you’re taking full advantage of the opportunity you have at the moment: one-on-one time with the person in the position to take you from job seeker to job holder.
Depending on how this conversation goes, you should either wait to be contacted or establish another time when you can follow-up again. In the event that the position is already taken, thank the individual for their time and maybe inquire about other positions that are open or soon to be open to job seekers. In any case, without suffocating the poor human resources representative you have on the other end, do your best to make yourself memorable. He or she could be making notes on your resume as you speak, and your name might be at the top of the list when they’re reviewing those resumes again.
What are your thoughts on calling employers to follow-up on an application? Share with us in the comments section below!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by plenty.r.