Telephone Tips: First Impressions Count

Posted by Patty Youngclaus

February 12, 2013

As a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, I speak on the phone with job seekers every day. I work with clients from places as far-flung as South Korea, to those based right here in New York City. Often, the only way for me to determine my client’s personality type is to assess how he or she behaves over the phone. A thorough conversation usually tells me whether my client is professional, prepared, confident and composed.

For those preparing to launch a job search, or who are in the midst of one right now, here are some tips to improve your chances of clearing the phone interview.

Record a Voicemail

Make sure to update your voicemail before prospective employers and recruiters reach out to you. Include your full name and a promise to respond within 24 hours. Ringback tones must be in good taste.

Answer the Phone

Hello? doesn’t cut it when you’re in the middle of a job search. Instead, answer the phone with authority and competence. Identify yourself by saying, “Hi, this is Joe” or “Hello, Joe speaking.”

Communicate Concisely

Don’t let your answers exceed the scope of the questions. Your response time should be one minute or less. Get a list together of common interview questions and formulate concise responses. Read them aloud, time yourself, never rush, and speak confidently.

If you follow these guidelines, your chances of making a positive impression will improve greatly and will set you apart from the competition.

Dylan Houle is a CPRW and has written over 600 executive-level resumes and cover letters. Originally from San Francisco, Dylan now resides in Brooklyn.