1. Preparation before the call begins
Before you begin applying to positions, make sure to clean up your voicemail. Many times a recruiter will not even make it to a conversation with the applicant because they have already formed an opinion based on the voicemail. Having a professional voicemail, which clearly states your name, one that is to the point and energetic will make the right impression. Think about your ring tone, as much as we like to personalize everything, do you really think a professional recruiter wants to hear Marvin Gaye “Lets Get It On” or “Baby got Back” as a ring tone? With hundreds of candidates’ to contact, it is essential that you make a positive impression with your voicemail. Recruiters will make note- Awesome voicemail, or horrible voicemail, not professional. Don’t sell yourself short before you even get a chance to talk with the recruiter. Make these simple changes and give yourself the opportunity you deserve.
Another important tip before the phone interview is to remember what positions you have applied for. Many times applicants will send their resume to hundreds of companies, not even realizing what qualifications are needed or knowing anything about the company. It is important to have conducted research and know why you applied for the position. It is never good when a candidate tells a company, “what was this position for again, I applied to lots.” So in short, do your research and remember who you are applying to. It is hard to get excited about a phone call from a company as a job seeker, if you are not excited about the position.
3. Be prepared to talk about yourself
This may seem like a no-brainier, but this is something many people struggle with. Many candidates ask me, “What do you want to know, everything should be on my resume.” This may sound silly, but this mistake happens often and usually isn’t something that impresses the recruiter. By knowing what the position entails, you are able to point out previous work history that would relate to the current position, for example: “ I noticed this position was seeking sales managers in training and I have had some experience that allowed me to utilize my sales ability. While with the GAP, I had the highest percentages of credit card sales for four months.” Knowing what experiences to focus your attention on will help with effectiveness in telling your background. It is also good at this point to tell the recruiter up front why you left each position.
Stay tuned for the last three tips to ensuring a face to face interview.