As many job seekers know, when you are searching online for your next position, at the end of the job advertisement you will often see something along the lines of “please call me for a confidential discussion…” When you dial that number to speak with the person, this is your first opportunity to make a good, lasting impression - and we all know how vital this can be! As a recruiter, I pick up the phone on a daily basis and speak to candidates who are calling about that job they have seen online. So, here are some tips to help you make the best first impression.
- Know the name/title of the position: This may sound very obvious but you would be surprised how many times people call to ask about the job they have seen online, but can’t remember the exact job title or anything else that was in the ad! There are many jobs posted online in the same specialisation but all have different titles. Knowing the exact name of the position means you are off to a good start. Try and remember as much information as you can about the role. In some cases people call up days later after seeing it posted and forget the information such as; the salary, working hours or location. Remembering this detail will benefit you when you want to have that discussion.
- Be in a quiet place: Whether you are currently employed and need to make that call on your way home from work, or you are in between jobs and are calling from home, please be aware of your surroundings and the background noise. This is your chance, so try not to frustrate people by calling right on the edge of Platform 17, in the height of peak-hour commute time where we are only catching every second word that is said amidst the intercoms and trains hurtling by. If it means that you need to call that little bit later in a quieter environment then do so. If you are worried about it being after office hours, leave a clear, concise voicemail in a calm manner and you can be sure of getting a call back the following morning.
- Have a pen and paper ready: You may just be introducing yourself before you send your application through, however, have something to write on, take notes down. You could even get some new information, or an email address, or be told about a new vacancy which has just become available. I have spoken to job seekers who have called up about a role they have seen whilst driving (with Bluetooth headsets of course), and they need to pull over to stop and write something down. Always be prepared!
- First impression is key: Whether you connect first time to have the conversation or you are leaving your details to call back, this is your chance to make your name stand out from all the other applicants. Be confident, professional and make that recruiter excited about receiving your application. The first engagement is crucial and if I speak to a person who has impressed me over the phone from the start, I will certainly watch out for that resume to come through!
- No time like the present: If you see a particular role that you are interested in as you are scrolling, click on the link and send your resume through. Although you may think it is more of an advantage to wait and introduce yourself first, this is not always true. It is far more useful for you to send your application through and THEN call, as it gives us an opportunity to open your resume when you call and give you valuable feedback right there and then. Don’t delay! The market is far too competitive out there to wait, seize the moment.