Phoning an advertiser to enquire about a job vacancy
When applying for an advertised position, it is our recommendation that you phone first, to gain a better understanding of the role. The reason for this is twofold and simple:
1. your skills might not be suited to the role.
2. you might not want the role.
Job advertisements are limited and limiting. The reason for this is also twofold and simple:
1. Sometimes the advertiser can’t say what they really mean (legal reasons and word count/cost in the media).
2. The advertiser may not have a full understanding of the role, nor how best to summarise it.
No phone number?
Often there is no phone number in the advertisement. This is your chance to distinguish yourself as a person who can make things happen and will go the extra mile. There’ll be a company name, and/or an email address. The bit after the “@” in the email address is often the website. Plug that into your internet address bar and click around to the “about us” or “contact us” page. Voila; you’ve just knocked out 90% of your competition.
Prior to making the call:
- Know who you’re going to ask for (this will be the bit before the “@” in the email address, or you’ll have a clue from their website).
- Think about how the role fits into the organisation and your relevant strengths. Equally, identify any relevant weaknesses and have a response ready.
- Know what you’re going to ask before you call. Practise.
- Have a pen, your resume, your notes and their job ad on hand for easy reference.
- Be in a quiet place. Ensure good reception coverage if you’re on a mobile.
- Allow yourself plenty of time in case they have time to talk – you may get lucky and have an interview on the spot!
- If you’re phoning a professional recruiter at a job agency (you’ll be able to tell by the company name or email, as above), don’t expect to find out who the job is with until you’re shortlisted for an interview. A professional recruiter will guard their client’s privacy, as they will yours. Respect that.
- Please, never say “I’d like some more information about the role”. Be specific. Your questions should demonstrate you’ve thought about the position, the company and your potential contribution. With information readily available through the internet NEVER say you’d like more information on the organisation. This will only show you didn’t do your research.
Making the call:
- Introduce yourself confidently, before asking to speak to the relevant person. If you’re asked the purpose of your call, speak succinctly “I’m enquiring about the (name) position” – there may be more than one advertised position.
- Thank them for taking the call and introduce yourself with your full name (they likely will make a note of your call). Confirm they have a few minutes to discuss the (name) vacancy.
- Give a quick overview of your recent work history, outlining why you’re interested and then be specific.
- Aim to ask three questions – the answers for which are not in the job ad, and relate specifically to the role. You want to find out what they’re really looking for, so you can determine if a) you can do the job, and b) if you want the job.
- The advertiser should never have to repeat what they’ve already told you. Dependant upon the ad and the position, one of those questions might be “what are the main priorities for this role?”, or “Your ad states you need someone with XXX. I’ve developed skills in XXX; do you see that as potentially a good fit?”, or “Your company has a great facebook page. In my role, would there be opportunity to contribute?”.
- Never interrupt; and never speak when they are.
Should you require specific advice, please contact New Staff Solutions for a personal consultation.