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The Initial Call

To call?  Or not to call?  That is the question.

Once when I was a teenager I’d gone to apply at a bookstore.  As I searched for a manager I saw a young man shelving books.  I approached and said, “Hey man, I was going to apply here and wanted to introduce myself to the manager, do you know where they are?”  He turned from what he was doing and told me that he WAS the manager, he made it very evident that he was displeased by the way I’d addressed him with “hey man” as my opening statement.  Needless to say, I never got an interview.  As an angry 17 year old, at the time I couldn’t have cared less, but I always remembered that occurrence and it taught me from that time on to ALWAYS be as respectful and professional to every single person you speak with, because you never know who you’re talking with.

So you’ve just applied online, or maybe you’re simply calling to find out if any positions are available. What do you say?

“Hi my name is Billy, I’m calling to speak with Janet.” WRONG! Where’s the professionalism? You’re not in high school asking Janet’s Mom to speak with her, you’re applying to a job. Give your first and last name and be as respectful as possible. Ask to speak with Mrs. Smith, or whatever the case may be. They’re not your best friend and they don’t know who you are, so play it safe and use a last name. If you don’t know their last name, just ask to speak with whoever does the hiring either in HR or personnel. First impressions are VERY important. Be polite to everyone you speak to.

Also, sometimes, and use your best judgment on this, it is a powerful thing to go in and introduce yourself face to face with the management or whoever does the hiring.  This is hit and miss, some individuals who do hiring would be annoyed by someone just showing up and introducing themselves, but I firmly believe that most people look fondly on showing such initiative.  Many of the jobs I’ve gotten in my life were due to my assertiveness.  If, for example 500 applicants apply to a major corporation, and 10 of them show up to introduce themselves, who is standing out of the group?  The 10 who took the time to get spruced up and make an appearance?  Or the other 490 who kicked back watching daytime soaps waiting for their phone call?

Even a bum off the street has a better chance of getting a job if he gets spruced up and shows his interest, then someone who kicks back in their favorite arm chair stroking their cat while they sit next to the telephone.  Please.  Do something.  Anything is better then sitting around waiting.

Ok.  So now you know what to do.  But now, how to do it?  Let’s face it, people get nervous during phone calls to talk to a prospective employer.  I’m kind of a weirdo and I LOVE to talk to people about my crazy past job experiences so interviews never bother me, I’m sort of a nihilist too at times(not really, but sort of), however, rather than going into phone calls and interviews blind as I do, I have a smarter suggestion.  Instead, write out ideas before you ever make the phone call.  Write out what you want to say and relay across the phone.  I’m not saying write an entire script out but have some key points you want to hit on before the phone call ends.  This will give you something to say, some things for them to respond to, and if they have questions for you, you’ll be able to answer them.  This will eliminate any dead time on the phone.  And hey, who knows, maybe they won’t even be there when you call right?  Maybe next time.