It’s summer. It’s August. But that’s not why I’m sweating. If the thought of calling a hiring manager makes your palms sweat, you’re not alone. Experts even have a name for it: “call reluctance.” The good news: You can overcome it.
We’ve all heard of actors who say they suffer from occasional bouts of stage fright, even after scores of performances. To overcome those inhibitions, they use specific techniques. You can use them, too.
First, approach follow-up or introductory calls to managers with the right mindset. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so don’t let negative thoughts paralyze you.
Next, prepare. Job seekers are often afraid of calling because they’re unsure about what to say. That erodes their confidence.
Bear this in mind: An effective call or message is simple and has three objectives: You want to share some information about yourself, ask for some information about the opportunity, and close on the next step. That could be an interview, an informal meeting over coffee, or just the chance to stay in touch, in hopes of securing a future opportunity.
How do you remember all this?
Prepare scripts in advance. Write one for leaving a voicemail, and another for an actual conversation. Practice the dialogue – preferably with a friend playing the role of the manager. Tweak the scripts to fit the specific circumstances. And Remember: have the contact’s name in front of you before you dial.
Don’t take rejection personally. There are a lot of candidates for every job opening today. That means you’re bound to encounter some rejection. So try to secure a fall-back objective. For example, if a manager isn’t recruiting, ask if she sees any additions to staff on the horizon. If she says no, ask if she knows anyone who’s currently hiring.
If all attempts to secure a hot lead or referral fail, go for your final objective – to stay in touch. If she says yes, chalk that up in your win column