The Trick is to make the Phone Ring

By: Donalyn Leskosek Spisak


Ever wondered what type of magic other people used to get the job they have? You know, the job that seems perfect to you-the one you should be doing. Ever looked at others and thought, how on earth did they get that position? Apparently they understood something you haven't yet mastered. The trick is to make the phone ring. Of course there's no trick to having a friend or acquaintance refer you for a position-no magic there. However, it is a trick to get that person to call you back once you've been contacted, even in these cases. No one hires anyone just because they're referred. If the person being referred doesn't meet the requirements necessary to successfully complete the job, they wont be hired, or at least, not for long.

The trick is to make the phone ring. I remember walking into a recruiter's office over two decades ago. It was early on a Monday morning. The phone rang and rang. No receptionist appeared. I sat and waited for a long time and the phone kept ringing. Having been in sales and sales management most of my life, I knew all too well, the way to make money and be successful is to make the phone ring. I grew impatient and was anxious because I knew these unanswered phone calls meant money down the proverbial toilet. I got up, sat at the vacant receptionist desk and began to take messages. At first, I only answered lines that no one picked up. But after a while, I answered on the first ring. It took 15 minutes for the rest of the group to finish their phone calls and realize someone was answering phones. They appeared around the corner looking a little curious and then asked "Who are you?" I replied, hi, I'm Donalyn Spisak, I have a 9:00 appointment. When I heard the phones ringing, I realized you were losing money, so I answered them. I hope you don't mind-here are your messages. I was employed by the end of that day in the recruiting industry.

In the above named case, the company had done their homework and were making the phones ring, but because the receptionist was out-they were losing money. As in all business offices of any kind, if the phone doesn't ring, no one is successful. How does this apply to me you may be asking. It applies to you because if you're in the market for a new job or career and you're not having a lot of success, it's because you haven't learned-the trick is to make the phone ring and often. How do you make an otherwise silent phone ring? Usually this trick is accomplished by saying, "Call me". Each of us has approximately 250 acquaintances. If you ask two people this week to "Call you", you are essentially increasing your chances of getting that successful phone call by 500%. Where do you meet these people who know 250 people? Good question. Everyone knows approximately 250 people so all you have to do is make sure those who know you well and those who know of you know you are looking for a position, what type of position and how to get in touch with you.

All you need is the phone to ring once with the right position. Mention to two people you run into at the post office this week that you're still in the job market and give them a business card with your contact information and specialties outlined. Hand you card to friends over a drink. Speak with others at church this Sunday people care about you and want to be asked for support. If you go out to eat and overhear someone at the next table speaking about work and it relates to what you do, walk over, introduce yourself and say, "I hope you don't think I was eavesdropping but I overheard you speaking about _____, my background's in that field, if you know someone who may be seeking someone, please have them call-please accept my card and my apologies for interrupting your lunch and thank you ahead of time for your help. I've been unemployed since December." People want to be helpful. We would all like to be a hero of some sort and in doing so we help ourselves feel good about ourselves.

Attend a networking function. You could meet others in your position who've been out there interviewing and can share information at Priority II which meets at Northway Community Church in Wexford; PAPEN which meets North, South, East, and West of the city of Pittsburgh; Among Friends which meets I believe on Thursday mornings; St. Peter and Paul in Wexford, etc. Is there some particular company you would like to work for? If so, have you put your suit on and taken your resume in person and delivered it? Why not? How would a company be aware of your sincere interest in them if you're afraid to approach them in this manner? I didn't say insist on meeting with them. Go to the receptionist, get the name of the person who is in charge of the department you're interested in working in. Put his/her name on the file folder you have with you, place your resume and a cover letter in the folder, a hand-written note saying "hand delivered to you on Wednesday, February 12, 2004 by William Smith. I can be reached at 555-1121. I will call to follow up on Friday, February 13, 2004. I look forward to speaking with you then". And sign it and leave it with the receptionist for delivery. At the very least, this person will be interested in the individual who took the time and is obviously sincerely interested in working with their team. Don't be surprised if the phone rings this time. Be proactive, the trick is to make the phone ring.

Donalyn Leskosek Spisak, Motivational Speaker, Feature Writer (Infinity Broadcasting), Reporter, and author of "How to Write Your Professional Portfolio"; "Resume Writing in the New Millennium"; "Keeping Track of Interviews"; and "What You Need to Know About Job Searching". Ms. Spisak also speaks from a background of over two decades of recruiting and sales and currently focuses much of her effort on writing winning resumes and training individuals to "Be the Person to Compete With" in an interview situation. To have your resume written, your portfolio put together or simply reach her for information, call 724.446.7287.