SAGE ADVICE FOR RESUMES, INTERVIEWING, AND MORE!
- By bruce w clagg
The Telephone Rings. Terrific; Maybe a Job?!
You’ve made countless, online applications and resume submissions and haven’t received any replies, or very, very few. You are in heavy traffic on the interstate, poor weather, and your phone rings. You answer, or at least most people will.
“Hi, this is Jane Jones with XYZ Corporation in New York and I’m following-up on your recent application.”
YIPPEE!! Someone likes me! Of course, you begin the conversation. BAD IDEA!
Jane is a very nice, typically younger person with a B.A. /M.A. in Human Resources and her sole mission as an HR Generalist is to eliminate you from consideration. Why? If you responded to an online job posting and depending upon the level of the position, they received 5,000 – 15,000 resumes, or more. They utilized their Applicant Tracking System (ATS), parsing software (since you can’t print, or read that many) and eliminated all but about 300 candidates. Those eliminated in the software programming seldom, if ever hear a word.
You are now part of the 300 “survivors,” but the DM (hiring decision maker) only likes to interview 4 to 6 qualified candidates, therefore HR now must eliminate 295, or so from consideration and they do it by telephone. It may take several call attempts on their part to reach a candidate, so they are highly motivated to have a conversation, if you answer your phone, and they are calling to eliminate you!
- “Bob, do you have time to talk?” (Not knowing that you’re driving in heavy traffic and miserable conditions, were taking a shower, who knows?)
- “Sure, Jane. Where do we start?” (Who can resist an opportunity – right?)
You are no more prepared for this conversation than you are for a gun fight at this second.
Think back. Guys would (mostly) always chase after the gals that played “hard to get.” I’m assuming now that it is probably the same for the gals if the guy was polite. Maybe not?
- “Jane, I would love to speak with you, but I’ve already got something scheduled.”
(Code – Hot resume and not taking my call? EVERYONE takes this call. He’s interviewing and these are the great candidates that we never get to see!)
- “Well, Bob, I would like to talk with you now (because I have a ton of other phone calls to make and I’ve got you on the line).”
- “Jane, I wish I could talk now also, but I already have something scheduled. When could we arrange for a day and time to talk?”
- (Hm-m – he’s interested AND I can schedule a call…that’s nice!) “Bob, how would next Tuesday at 2 PM Eastern work for you?”
- “Jane that would be fine. Since I’m driving, would you mind emailing me a confirmation and also the name and title of the person with whom I would be speaking?
- “Sure! Your email noted on your resume is best? Great, thanks for your time.”
Whew! You weren’t ready for that phone call and believe me, she was! Now you have time to research the company, find the job posting (if posted), get YOUR questions prepared, notebook at hand, two pens, a bottle of water, a good, wireless headphone/earpiece, and many of my coaching clients get into their business attire and STAND UP THROUGHOUT THE CALL! (I have great reasons!!) YOU’RE READY! Oh, get the kids and the dogs out of range for 30-40 minutes! Now BOTH parties are prepared for a more valuable chat.
Now when it’s time for the phone call you’re completely prepared without undue distractions, ready to go! Was that difficult? Well, denying the initial conversation when anticipation /
desperation is coming out of my pores, yes, but the strategy worked out and now I’m much more comfortable in being interrogated and my resume examined under a microscope. Survive the phone call – get the interview!! Good luck out there!
Hello! I'm Bruce Clagg,
Advanced Career Solutions
Advanced Career Solutions (ACS) is a professional resume writing services firm also providing unique, job interview training, LinkedIn Profile rebuilding, career counseling & coaching from the ONLY multi-certified professional* in Pennsylvania.
- Bruce Clagg, Rapid Employment & Career Management Coach
*The four Certifications are noted within.