Phone etiquette. It’s funny to me that we all use the phone daily – by the hour – by the minute – literally attached to at all times – and yet so many people fail miserably at it.
Let’s break it down here. First of all, if you are looking for a job, interested in hearing about new opportunities, are always looking for the next best thing then you need to have a number where you can be reached.
Your number should be on your resume and any other forum a recruiter/hiring manager will look at – if you are worried about privacy issues then get a Google Voice number – it’s free – be sure to turn off call screening because it will drive people nuts.
Please answer your phone – don’t screen. Yes, we know you’ve screened us when you call back exactly 2 minutes later.
Answer it professionally – giving your first name will not immediately move you up to the #1 slot as a hacker’s next target – they need a little more information than your name and phone number to do any damage.
Can’t seem to stress this enough – don’t be combative and suspicious with the person who called you. You posted your resume and contact information on the internet – we didn’t stalk you.
Once you’ve made it through the greeting you’re going to need to have some answers ready to some basic questions that will be asked. What opportunities are you pursuing right now? Are you interested in relocating? Salary range? As a job seeker, you should know these answers offhand. When I ask these questions and get dead air or “I’m looking for a job developing in C#.Net” I can’t help but roll my eyes. I have your resume in front of me, I get that you are a developer. You’re going to need to give me a better answer than that. As for dead air… if you don’t know what you’re looking for how am I suppose to know if what I have is going to be a good fit?
End the conversation professionally, make sure there is a plan of action in place, and verify the recruiter has your contact information.
Bonus! One of my biggest pet peeves – people answering their phones when they are in a meeting, busy at work and can’t talk, or are in a place where they can’t conduct a conversation professionally (grocery shopping). Most recruiters will leave a message and more than likely follow-up with an email. Let the call go to voice mail and call back in a timely fashion. I would prefer that than a frustrated person answering the phone and telling me (as if I should know) that you’re in a meeting and can’t talk because your boss is sitting right next to you! You know you have your resume posted, you should know better than to answer an unknown number when you know you won’t be able to talk.