I was contacting applicants who were applying for an entry-level position and was stunned by how they handle their cell phones. It’s competitive out there people! With many applicants for few positions, it doesn’t take much to be eliminated from the pool of candidates.
Here are a few simple tips for folks who are looking for a job and therefore have distributed a resume:
1. Try not to answer your phone sounding hostile because you don’t recognize the number calling you. You have a resume out there, remember? You may be receiving calls from people you don’t know yet. Other than your resume, your voice, in this moment, is the first impression you are giving.
2. When you answer the phone, begin speaking immediately with the caller by starting with a cheerful “hello”, or “This is Bob (if that’s your name).” Don’t continue to have the face-to-face conversation you were engaged in and assume once you’ve answered, the caller will hang on, listening to your other conversation, until you are ready. If you can’t end your conversation when the phone rings, then let the call go to voice mail.
3. Return calls when you can be focused on the call. Multitasking is a dumb idea anyway, but it’s REALLY dumb when you are trying to make a good, professional impression.
4. Don’t return calls when you are engaging in heavy lifting, exercise or walking your dog. Hearing your heavy breathing during this initial get-to-know-you phase is really…awkward.
5. Be careful about talking on the phone outside when there is any kind of wind. It may sound fine to you but to the caller it sounds like you are in the middle of a typhoon. And it hurts the eardrums.
6. Do not butt-dial the caller after you’ve gotten off the phone. And especially don’t do it multiple times.