If you have job search phone phobia, you are not alone. The condition is quite common. Fortunately, there are some simple techniques that can help you overcome this phobia quickly so that you do not miss out on good opportunities.
The basics are all here below – follow these steps to a more efficient and less scary job search.
1. Write out a script for yourself.
Preparing a script will keep the butterflies away, especially if you practice it out loud periodically. Keep your script short – the purpose of this call is to introduce yourself and leave your prospective employer wanting more.
2. Stand while you call.
You automatically sound more confident and full when you stand up. Choirs always stand when they sing, so why don’t you?
3. Smile while you talk.
In the same way that standing helps your voice, so does smiling. People can hear you smile. You also have another advantage – on the phone, no one can see if you look goofy when you smile or not.
One trick that usually works is to put a small mirror right in front of you as you talk. Place the mirror at the same height that you are standing. It is almost impossible to look at yourself while you are on the phone without smiling!
4. List out the toughest questions that you expect to field.
This is an addendum to the first tip – writing out a script. Make sure this script includes the questions that you are most afraid of. During your rehearsals, you can script out some great answers to these questions. Practice keeping your answers brief – 5 to 10 seconds max.
5. Practice with a friend.
Before you go calling the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, call your friend. Rehearse a call with a friendly voice first. You will gain confidence that you can use in your next conversation with a hiring manager.
6. Get in touch with the gatekeeper first.
The decision makers within a company are usually quite difficult to cold call. Before you try to call these people directly, try to get in contact with that person’s assistant or administrator. You can use that person’s name when you talk to the decision maker to make the call a warm lead.
7. Take notes from your conversation with the gatekeeper.
As you talk to the gatekeeper, you should get to know that person as personally as you can. They know their bosses better than anyone, and they may be able to tell you how to get through. Keep in mind that you will likely need to talk to the gatekeeper more than once, so prepare for this. Come with a great attitude, and always look to take notes.
One of the most important things that you can get from the gatekeeper is when to call back. Busy people keep schedules. They are likely open at the same time every day. However, you will never know exactly when to call unless the gatekeeper tells you!
8. Start stacking referrals.
Your past contacts may be able to help you get new ones. You never know who someone knows until you ask. As you prepare to call new potential employers, get in touch with all of your positive contacts from your past working lives. It is much easier to call people when you have been referred by a mutual friend or colleague. You also gain traction when you drop the right name.
9. Keep your conversations brief.
Do not waste time with your personal contacts either; script out your conversations with them, keep your phone calls short and thank them at the end of each call. You may need to call more than once, and this will keep them from avoiding your calls in the future.
10. Don’t get put into voice mail jail.
Try not to leave voicemails. It takes too much power away from you and actually keeps you from calling back in a timely manner.
Many of us naturally attach phone calls to rejection during the job search. The outline above will keep you from having to deal with the worst of this. Dulling the instinct to equate phone calls with failure is the first step to getting over phone phobia. Soon enough, your work will begin to pay off!
While using the phone for your job search is helpful, nothing is more powerful than having a recruiting firm to recommend you for their open positions. We are eager to help you, every step of the way. For further information, please contact our corporate office toll free at 855-961-7666.