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Telephone Tips for the Job Search

The telephone is an important resource for the job search process. Please be mindful of proper telephone etiquette. The following reminders may be of assistance.

Always plan your calls. Know whom you are calling and the correct pronunciation of the name.

Be courteous to all those with whom you talk. Receptionists and telephone operators often talk with the person who will make the employment decision. Remember to say thank you to everyone with whom you come in contact.

Be concise, positive, upbeat and optimistic. Your personality, attitude and demeanor are reflected in your voice. No one likes to talk to someone with a bad attitude, let alone hire that person. The telephone conversation may be your first contact with that employer. Be certain to make a positive impression. Never keep a person on the telephone longer than necessary.

Be professional. Always conduct yourself in a highly professional, ethical and honest manner. Never misrepresent yourself or any facts.

Be persistent. It is often difficult to make contacts over the telephone. If your contact person is not available, leave a message. Include your name, time and date of your call, your telephone number and a short message. If you say that you will call again at another time or date, do so. Follow-up is extremely important.

Don't become discouraged. If you are making prospecting calls (cold calls), be prepared for many rejections. Remember that this is a numbers game. The more contacts you make, the more positive results you will receive.

If you are unable to get past the secretary or receptionist, try calling before or after the secretary's regular office hours. Frequently the manager will work longer hours than his or her staff and will answer the phone during those hours. If that fails, contact someone you know within the organization and ask that person to transfer your call directly to the desired person.

Special note on answering machines: Make certain that your outgoing message is professional. During a job search is not the time to use your rap, duet, or presidential impersonation.

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