Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Are you good on the phone?

A lot of job seekers think that I am an employment agency so they call me with job enquiries very often. What I have learnt from dozens of these phone converstions is that people CANNOT TALK ON THE PHONE. They think I am a prospective employer and yet they sound unprepared, unprofessional and lost. The ability to lead a professional phone conversation is an important skill and IT IS NOT THE SAME AS CHATTING WITH YOUR MATES! It is important because in your job search you will have to make many calls to your networking contacts or prospective employers to get information about a position. A lot of companies hold phone interviews before they invite you to a face-to-face one. If you screw up on the phone there is no way to recover so here are some tips I can give you from employer point of view:

1. If you call and no one answers - leave a voice mail! I am never calling back if I see a missed call without a voice mail. For what I know you might be an annoying sales person and I am not going to spend my time and money calling you back if this conversation was not important enough for you to bother leaving me a voice mail.

2. When you leave a voice mail, briefly but clearly indicate the purpose of your call. This may seem obvious but more often than not I receive voice mails that sound as follows: "Hello, I am Pete Smith, please call me back". For what I know Pete Smith can be an annoying sales person and you already know what I do when I think that's the case.

3. When we finally get a chance to talk do not start the conversation by asking what I do. Your goal is not to interview me but to find a job. Introduce yourself, explain what you are looking for and I will give you answers to your questions tailored to your needs.

4. When I explain something to you - LISTEN. Do not just wait for me to finish, it offends people. It is very easy to figure out whether a person paid attention to what you were saying or not by asking a couple of questions regarding what was just discussed.

5. Most of the people loose interest when they think that the person on the other end of the line cannot help them with the very specific problem they have in mind. They try to wrap up the conversation as soon as possible. I might not be able to help you with this specific job enquiry but I might know someone who can or I might be helpful in another job search avenue. The point of networking is not getting help right there, on the spot but to get support from people who will lead you to your goal step by step.

6. Please, do not call from a car, or a restaurant or a noisy street or generally on the go. This shows to me that this converstaion was not important enough for you to put aside 10 min on your schedule to talk form a quiet room without doing anything else on the background. Treat a phone conversation as a face-to-face meeting.

7. PREPARE! Write down what exactly you want to find out. Play out a worst case scenario: I am not able to help you at all, you are upset but you need to find a way to learn where I CAN help you vs. where I CANNOT help you. Do not concentrate on negative, find the positive.

8. Finish a conversation on such a note so that next time when I see your caller ID I will be glad to pick up the phone and talk to you again.

Chicago Job Fair

Attend the Chicago South job fair on Tuesday, September 28 and take this opportunity to meet face to face and stand out from the crowd!

Career experts onsite will provide FREE Resume Reviews!

Over 200 positions will be available at this event!

For a list of attending companies, click the link below and fill out the brief registration form: http://chicago.localhires.com/job_fairs/view/1318/Chicago+South+Job+Fair+September+28%2C+2010utm_source=30day_iContact&utm_medium=iContact_email&utm_campaign=Chicago_South_9_28_2010_iContact-30day

Free to Attend!

Date: Tuesday, September 28
Time: 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Location: Holiday Inn Select & Convention Center - Tinley Park
Address: 18501 S. Harlem Ave, Tinley Park, IL 60477

Can't attend the job fair? No problem- add your resume to the ChicagoHires database on the website above so recruiters can find you.
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