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The Importance of Phone Etiquette


Old Fashioned Rotary Telephone

Author: Kalley Lovegood


Phone etiquette is an important tool when job searching that goes beyond answering the phone politely. Something we are seeing more often is an absence of phone numbers listed on resumes. Recruiters expect to be able to call you and set up an interview. Not including your number can mean you get passed over simply because they cannot get in contact with you. If you are reluctant to provide your personal number, consider using a service such as Google Voice. Something that you can easily answer calls from and check for missed calls or massages.


Your voicemail is important for similar reasons. Make sure you have your voicemail set up so recruiters can leave a message. Many people think that they can simply call the recruiter back, no need for them to leave a message, but recruiters can leave important information in their messages. They may want to let you know to expect an email, what hours you can call them back, or even just their name. Having this information when you reach out to them again conveys that the call matters and you can pay attention to details.


It’s also a good idea to record a voicemail message so that callers know they’ve reached you. Something short and simple including your name should suffice. The phone is the second chance you have to make a good impression and while resumes can be rewritten, it’s harder to recover from a bad first impression over the phone. Projecting yourself in a clear, professional manner can help make you a more memorable applicant.


You should always be ready to give your first and last name, and the name of the person you would like to speak with even if you only know their title, such as Hiring Manager. The person who answered should ask what the call is regarding. Be ready with a specific answer such as, “This is regarding the posting for an office assistant.” Unless it is a private, personal matter, always tell the other person on the line why you are calling and do not say, “They know what it’s about.”


Best practice is to make sure that you are reachable and, if not, a message can be left for you. Always listen to your messages before returning a call. Really listen and understand what the caller was intending to tell you. When you make a call, be ready to answer questions in a clear and concise manner. The best results come from clear communication.

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