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Telephone Power – the Way to Land a Job

All men and women are not created equal – at least not in the job market. The job search process can often be lengthy, frustrating, and unfair. Older, more traditional job-hunting methods have become non-productive. The traditional resume no longer has the same impact in generating the all important and often elusive interview.

Statistics show that only about 14% of all jobseekers find new positions through published advertisements, 11% through employment agencies or recruiters, and 5% through direct mail. A whopping 70% are found by networking or personal contact methods. Why then do most job hunters spend 90% of their time in areas that represent only about 30% of all opportunities? There is a better way. Use the telephone as your primary contact tool. The telephone has power. It can put you in direct contact with the hiring authority. Remember, it is much harder to hang up on someone than to file away a resume. Our focus today is how to be more effective in responding to newspaper or Internet advertisements by using the telephone.

Looking for a job is a numbers game. When you respond to an advertisement by sending a resume, you are usually one of 200 or more applicants. Typically only 6-8 people will actually generate an interview. That means your chances of being in the selected group are about 4%. Most of the time the person making the decision about who gets the interview is a screening secretary or Human Resource manager, and not the hiring authority. These people are following someone else’s guidelines. They can easily eliminate you from speaking to a manager who may have liked you enough to hire you – if they had ever met you. Why not improve your odds of getting that all-important interview? We suggest the following techniques:

Finally, remember that whether or not you are responding to an advertisement, attempting to gain a meeting with an employer who did not have an advertised opening, or set up a networking meeting, the telephone is your primary tool to market yourself.

- Lawrence D. Alter

Author Lawrence Alter is president of L.D.A. Enterprises, Ltd.; a Minneapolis based outplacement and career management firm. He is a recognized expert in career growth techniques. Call (952) 697-3663 or send ideas and questions to: