After mulling over your resume, making sure it has all the right dates (months and years!) and your key responsibilities in each role, you click the “Apply Now” button and submit your CV. So, what’s the next step? Obviously, you have to wait for a response where, unfortunately sometimes, silence is the only reply you’ll ever receive. But for those who have the decency to get back to you, here are a few tips you will need to check off your list once you’ve applied for a job.
Keep it private
The popularity of social media has exponentially grown in the last decade, especially with the advent of smartphones so you can easily update your whereabouts every minute of every day. In saying that, if your accounts are public, make sure that anything that’s available online will not jeopardise your chances of receiving a call. Always bear in mind that anything you put online is now easily accessible by everyone, including your potential employer.
Answer your phone correctly
Imagine calling someone you don’t know or have never met before and when they answer the phone, all they say is “Hello?” Can you tell from their voice alone or from that one word greeting that you’re speaking to the right person? What if it’s their partner or parent or friend or some random who’s stolen their phone? How would you know? If you get a call from an unlisted number and you’ve recently applied to some job ads, it’s more than likely the recruiter or company calling you back. Make sure that you answer clearly with a greeting followed by your name, e.g.:
“Hello, Samantha speaking”.
Not only does it immediately establish who you are, but it also includes the most universally accepted greeting.
Set up a voicemail
On the off chance that you’ve missed a call from a recruiter or potential employer, you must have a voicemail recorded. Don’t just leave it up to your mobile carrier and have a default robot voicemail or even worse have silence or random noises followed thereafter by the default recording. Again, just like knowing how to answer a phone correctly, they need to know they’re speaking to the right person and your voicemail will greatly help to identify you.
Something like: “Hi, it’s Mary. I’m sorry I can’t answer your call at the moment, but if you could leave me your name and number, I’ll call you back as soon as I can. Thank you.”
If you already have an existing voicemail, ensure that it is appropriate and professional. Think of it as the first impression you will be giving.
Call with a purpose
Nothing annoys a recruiter or potential employee more than having someone call in about a job ad, but not asking about anything in particular. Not only does it make it seem like you didn’t actually read the job ad itself, but that you are beating around the bush and wasting the person’s time. If you’re calling in to follow up on your application, actually have a valid reason to do so. Calling in to check if recruiters have received it, is not.
Don’t say you just want a job
In order to be considered for a role, you must have the right motivations in applying for it. Yes, you may just want a job, but realistically speaking would you want any old job on the market right now? How about the graveyard shifts on the weekend? Or 3.00 am starts Monday to Friday? This is where you need to give a sound explanation as to why exactly you want the role. What is it about the company that interests you? What specifically about the job ad made you want to apply in the first place? If you “just want a job”, so does everyone else in the market right now – this is where you need to stand out.