- Have your partner make the following statements so that you can practice responses:
- We don’t have any positions open at this time.
- I don’t have any openings and I’m too busy to meet with you.
- Why don’t you check back with me later?
- Practice giving the employer brief examples of how you gained the skills mentioned in your skills statement.
Getting through to decision makers
The interview is the path to the job offer. Employers do not hire resumes, applications, or phone calls. They hire people they have met. Setting up these face-to-face meetings is the one reason you are contacting employers.
You are not calling employers to find:
- If they have any openings
- If they are accepting applications
- If they will look at your resume
You may find all this information in a very short phone call, but that’s not the main reason you are calling. You are calling to arrange a face-to-face meeting with the decision maker. But first you have to reach the decision maker. Here are some tried and true methods of getting through to the person you want.
When you know the decision maker’s name:
Bob Williams wants a job as a checker in a supermarket. Here’s how Bob handles his call when he knows the decision maker’s name:
Them: Hello, Low Price Market, may I help you?
Bob: This is Bob Williams calling for Alice Fenton.
Them: Hold on please.
Alice: This is Alice Fenton.
Bob: Hi, this is Bob Williams. I have six months experience at a food store as well as two years’ experience serving the public. I am fast and accurate and able to work a variety of shifts. I am calling to set up a meeting with you to discuss how my skills might match your company’s needs. Would Wednesday or Thursday be better for you? (This is Bob’s skills statement)
Alice: Thursday in the afternoon would be best.
Bob: How about 1:30?
Alice: That’s fine. I’ll see you then. And bring a copy of your resume.
But what if Alice had said:
Alice: We don’t have any positions at this time.
Bob: That’s OK. I’m not expecting you to offer me a job that doesn’t exist. But I’ve found that when I have had five or ten minutes to talk about my skills, people often think about someone else who might be interested in hearing about them. With that in mind, could we meet briefly?
What if Alice had said:
Alice: I really don’t have any openings and I’m just too busy to meet with you.
Bob: Well, thanks for your time today. I wonder if you know of anyone else who might be interested in hearing from a skilled worker?