How to Make a Great Impression on the Phone
Making phone calls is still one of the pillars of a successful job search. But it has to be you that's making the calls. No matter how many jobs you apply for online, or how many letters and CVs you send out, waiting for the phone to ring will see you waiting a long time. You have to take the initiative and make the calls to your prospective employers, but just calling won't be enough. You need to make a great impression when you do manage to get through.
The first step in making a great impression, like most tasks in job searches, is to do your homework. Research the company you're calling and make sure you know what they do and crucially what they look for in employees. Talk to people in your network to see who you might know working in the company already, and ask them about the kind of people who work there, preferred qualifications and what level of experience the company tends to look for. Knowing this kind of information will allow you to have a productive conversation with whoever it is you eventually get to speak with.
Practice your telephone voice. We may all giggle when we hear a friend or colleague speaking slightly differently on the telephone but sometimes it can make a real difference - especially when you're calling people whose first language may not be your own. Don't go trying a completely new accent, but do take the time to understand how you speak. When there's no one else around, use your mobile phone to record and listen to your own voice. Your voice rarely sounds the same to you as it does when you hear it recorded. Practice speaking clearly, especially if you have a tendency to speak quickly or have a pronounced accent. There's nothing wrong with having an accent - for some jobs it's even preferred - but you do want to make sure you can be understood. So practice. You can read excerpts from a favourite book or from the newspaper, stressing important words and trying out different approaches to understand how changes in your voice and tone make you sound more or less confident, and how they convey your mood and level of interest.
Don't slouch or lie down when you're making phone calls. This affects your voice much more than you realise since it affects your breathing. Sit upright at a table.
Lastly: be prepared. Have your notes to hand, and a copy of your application and CV. TheJobWorx is ideal for this since you just need to be logged in to your account and all your opportunities and notes will be right there for you. Have a pen and a notepad ready so you can write down things as they occur to you or as the other person is saying them. You don't want to have to say "Can you hold while I find a pen please?"- that doesn't work at all!
Many people lack confidence making telephone calls, preferring text and email as a means of communication, but if you're going to succeed in your job search, becoming confident and proficient in phone conversations is vital and it's a skill you can take to your new job.
Article Added: 12/08/2015
Posted By: Paul Docherty