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Networking: Script it out, just don’t sound like a telemarketer

I was talking to a client recently about her job search. She had a few calls to make to prospective employers to follow up on her interviews. (Yes, luckily, I’m finding recruiters are calling people again, and I have several clients out there going on interviews.) She was nervous, she didn’t know what to say to them and didn’t want to choke up or sound unprofessional on the phone or on their voicemail.

This is important because the impression you make to these people can make a big difference in your search. You know how it is; we make impressions of people within the first five seconds of meeting them. So you want to do this correctly by sounding confident, professional, and upbeat.

Here are a few steps to help you make this happen:

1. First, determine what your goal is for your phone call. Do you want an answer from them? Do you just want to check in on something, let them know you’re still interested in their position, or are you asking for an informational interview? Decide what you want to achieve from this call and write it down.

2. Second, write down what you’d like to say – ideally. Write every idea you have down, re-write it until it sounds good to you.

3. Third, say it out loud to yourself. How does it sound now that you’ve heard it out loud? Often words on paper don’t sound natural or flow as well when we say them out loud.

4. Finally, edit your script until it sounds good to you out loud. Practice it a few times in the mirror. Then, when you’re ready to make the phone call, create two versions for yourself. One for if they pick up the phone, a second one if you have to leave a voicemail. Practice this enough times that when you say it, you don’t sound like a telemarketer. Make sure it flows out naturally and confidently.

There is nothing wrong with scripting out what you want to say! It can make or break your performance, so why not do it? The good news is that you can use the same basics of your script over and over as part of your job search, so save it on your computer. Practice makes perfect. Try it out on your friends and family if you need to. Good luck!

Hallie Crawford
Job Search Coach

P.S. If you need help with job search contact us for a complimentary consultation today.