By Sarah Krause
Millennials have been held responsible for the extinction of many Boomer phenomena over the years, but our hatred of the humble phone call is a stance we should consider revising.
If you were born between 1990 and the early 2000s, then chances are you would rather risk all your teeth falling out than face the horror of phoning your dentist to make an appointment.
It seems natural then, when applying for internships, work experience or full-time jobs, to fall back on the communications style that makes us most comfortable: instantaneous.
After all, why waste time on a call when an email could be sent and delivered in the time it takes for the phone to ring?
Unfortunately, our prospective employers don’t agree.
Emails can be copied and pasted and sent en masse to the address of every Tom, Dick and Harry you find on the internet; while phone calls are personal, time-consuming and much more targeted.
My current internship – which I love with all my heart – only fell into my lap after I picked up the phone. The first person I spoke to didn’t have any openings but gave me the name and number of someone who did. I highly doubt the same outcome would have occurred had I just been a random, faceless email address reaching out online.
We’ve talked on this point previously here at Straddl.com and made it clear we believe it’s time for a phone call resurgence, so check it out if you still need some convincing.
For the rest of you, here are three quick steps to make those phone calls – whether they’re to get a dental appointment or your dream job – just that little bit less stressful.
1. Know who you’re calling
You don’t necessarily need to know the exact name or title of who is going to pick up the phone – sometimes all you’ll have is the name of the company itself – but you do need to do some preparation so you’re not flying blind. It goes a long way if you can show you have researched your prospective employer before you call. Knowing basic details like where a company’s office is, the social media accounts they use, or the names of their biggest clients, demonstrates that you have a serious interest in working for them and haven’t just called on a whim.
2. Plan what you want to say
The first thing you should decide is why you’re calling. Do you want to know if they have any positions available? Are you trying to score an interview? Or are you simply dropping your name before handing in your resume? It’s important that you have a clear goal in mind to help guide the conversation and ensure you don’t ramble.
It often also helps if you think about how you want to begin the call and what facts you want to let them know about you – although how detailed you plan really depends on you as an individual.
One trick is to write down a ‘script’ of sorts to ensure you don’t miss any important talking points while on the phone. There is absolutely no shame in having a cheat sheet in front of you while you ring – you may not need it but it’ll be there to fall back on just in case.
3. Be ready to go to voicemail
While voicemails are even more foreign to Millennials than phone calls, they are a necessary evil when job seeking. So don’t be caught off guard if you have to leave a message. It should be short and snappy, and give the recipient all the necessary information about you. Above all, don’t forget to leave your name and number so they get in touch!