We live in a world today that brings a completely new meaning to “multi-tasking”. Potential employers call about our résumé while we’re driving to the soccer field and deals are negotiated in the supermarket produce section. With virtual offices, tele-conferences, e-summits and Skype, we need to be aware of the types of messages that we are sending and their appropriateness.
It’s easy to get “comfortable” during a job search. On the other hand, maybe the job search has gotten you down, and you are losing motivation. My advice to kick start your job search is to get up early, get showered and dressed and attack your search feeling and looking professional, even if you are not planning to meet with anyone for the day. The reason is simple: “They can hear you in your pajamas.”
Non-Verbal body language makes up for 55% of communication.
Our Tone, Speed and Volume of Voice make up 38%.
Our words equal 7%.
If you think that the person on the other end of the phone is not getting a message from your non-verbal communication, simply because they cannot see you, you would be incorrect. Your voice becomes the “telephonic appearance”, and how you sound on the phone is affected by your appearance and surrounding. For example, let’s say you sent your résumé out to several places. You just got out of the shower, you’re in your bathrobe with wet hair, you ran down to the kitchen to grab a piece of toast and are swallowing your last bite as the phone rings with an unrecognizable number. You answer “hello” and they ask for you. Assuming it’s a tele-marketer, you ask “who is this”?
O.K., in reality, it was a hiring manager calling about the résumé that you recently sent. What was the first impression that you gave? Did you sound rushed, annoyed, inconvenienced, curt? It would have been better to have let the call go to voicemail and returned it when you had your “professional hat” on your dry hair!
The same theory applies when you are making the calls to networks, companies, recruiters, etc. Take your search seriously. If you look like a professional (NOT making calls in your boxer shorts), place yourself in a professional setting (a home office, quiet room and NOT the car, the mall or the supermarket, the soccer field), take a deep breath and smile before making your calls, you will sound professional and project a positive image over the phone.
Remember that you only have one shot to make a positive, lasting first impression and if that impression is going to be by phone then you need to control the situation and set it up to your advantage.
• Call people when you are prepared to do so, not distracted and can give the call the attention it warrants.
• Let unknown calls or calls clearly from people calling to discuss your résumé go to voicemail if you are not best prepared to answer professionally.
• Set the stage for yourself to project a positive/professional image over the phone, remember, they can hear you in your pajamas!
Michelle A. Riklan is a certified professional résumé writer, career coach and employment interview consultant. She can be reached at Michelle@riklanresources.com.