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Don’t Become a Phone Pest in Job Search

March 17th, 2010 · 2 Comments


One of my pet peeves is the phone call from a job seeker asking if a resume has been received. 

Unless you know the individual receiving the resume or have a mutual friend whose name you can drop, a resume follow-up call is an interruption that doesn’t enhance your job consideration.

The phone can play an important role in a job search, but ineffective use can derail your potential candidacy.  Before dialing, here are six suggestions for making better use of the phone in a job search:

  1. Have a reason to call.  Asking if a resume was received is a feeble excuse and makes work for the recipient of the call.  If a mutual friend or colleague suggested that you call, this gives more reason to interrupt a person’s work day.
  2. Plan your call.  Keep your message short and to the point; rehearse if necessary.
  3. Show energy and enthusiasm.  Don’t sound beaten up and desperate, even if you are.   
  4. Be prepared for omnipresent voice mail–and use it effectively.  Clearly state your name and phone number at the start of the message.  This allows the recipient to easily get your number without listening to the entire message again. 
  5. Don’t become a frequent caller.  One person-to-person call or voice-mail message is sufficient.  If you’ve been interviewed for a position, you can make a second call.  Don’t misread no response as negative news.  Hiring decisions often are inexplicably long in most organizations and won’t be speed up by your call. 
  6. Plan for the call-back.  Make sure you and others who might answer your phone do so professionally.  See earlier post about how a bad phone etiquette cost someone a job.  The post also provides phone etiquette tips for job seekers.

Tags: Job Search

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jamie Kim // Mar 17, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Thanks for the post, Ron. I think many students have experienced the “should I call or not call?” moment at least once, so your six checkpoints will be helpful when determining if a call is really necessary and beneficial.

  • 2 The toughest job I’ll ever have is searching for a job « Sassy and Classy // Mar 19, 2010 at 8:52 am

    […] when you’ve crossed the line from being a dedicated applicant to being a nuisance?  A recent post by Ron Culp gives job seekers useful tips for strategically following up about your […]

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