It's You and the Gatekeeper and the Battle of Wit.
Gatekeepers for Jobseekers
“Money grows on the tree of persistence.” ~ Japanese Proverb
It’s Monday morning and you spent the weekend fretting about the fact that you don’t have a job yet.
Did you think to use any of those weekend hours working on your job hunt or do you fall into this category, a tweet sent out on Twitter this morning?
“I could really use a Saturday morning to sleep in right now.”
There are plenty of things you can do on weekends that can set your sail for Monday morning (and no, weekends don’t start on Thursday afternoons and yes, they end on Sunday night).
The Internet is open seven days a week twenty four hours a day and it offers a wide array of job-seeking opportunities.
I’m not talking about job postings.
I’m talking about press releases you might peruse for news about companies and, one of the most important things for you, in your job search, phone numbers.
I'm talking about research.
Many of you don't have the faintest idea how to do it.
At the bottom of a press release the most amazing thing usually happens. The company's media spokesperson usually lists her company direct-dial telephone number. In the first six digits lie the secret to reaching just about anyone inside a company.
See, companies have what they call an “internal dial system.” It’s comprised of the individual numbers assigned to each person in a company. It may or may not be an extension run on their main number; for instance, if a company’s phone number is 123 456 1000 the internal dial system may look like this:
Nancy Peterson 123 456 1001 taking off from the company's main number and proceeding numerically:
Jim Mathews 123 456 1002
Mary Kim 123 456 1003
It can also use a different prefix altogether, as in:
Shelia Buffers 123 621 2000
Michael Long 123 621 2001
Bob Payne 123 621 2002 with the 621 being the prefix the company uses internally at the same office that uses 123 456 1000 as a main number.
Some companies, especially big ones, use several different prefixes.
Everyone inside a company usually has their own individual telephone number.
It usually resides on a telephone on their desks.
Think about this - you can direct dial just about everyone inside a company if you know how to decipher a company's dialing system.
It isn't hard.
It can be time consuming but hey! You have plenty of that, right?
That telephone is usually attached to a Voice Mail message that picks up if the person isn’t in or doesn’t want to answer their phone – about 8 out of 10 calls in business today go to Voice Mail so you must be persistent when you call someone and hit their Voice Mail. I like calling over and over and over until the person answers but you stand the chance of being called a Psycho Job Hunter if you’re not using Call Block but then if you are using Call Block they may not answer anyway just on principle. I recommend having a long list of people with their direct dials next to their names so you can go down the list and call them in order, one after the other. 100 names and numbers of management will take you about a half a day to call through with about an hour or so slated for the time you spend on the phone with those you do reach.
100 names and numbers will allow a reasonable amount of time between calls so you don't look like a Psycho Job Hunter.
Keep meticulous notes in your document. Some of them may read like diary entries. Here’s what I recommend:
Sam Masterson Operations Manager (Company Name, Location) 617 288 xxxx
Aug 30 8:28 VM (meaning I hit Voice Mail – not that I left one)
Julia Gable Administrative Assistant to Operations ? (Company Name, Location) 718 926 xxxx
Aug 30 8:29 VM
Ben Picard Operations Director (Company Name, Location) 718 960 xxxx
Aug 30 8:30 Confirmed that he was the Director of Operations and said my call was timely - that they just had a Manager leave and said it was okay to send him my resume. He said he had a meeting to go into at 9 that he was preparing for so he couldn’t talk much but he’d watch for my resume ben.picard@hiscompany/.com This is exciting stuff – this works! Sent resume at 8:37am. Call next week!
Marianne Foley VP Operations (Company Name, Location) 617 242 xxxx
Aug 30 8:40 Ginnie answered and said Marianne was out of town until Sept 7 – in the meantime if I wanted to send my resume I could send it to Denice in HR – she gave me Denice’s number 617 242 xxxx bu I think I’ll wait to see how this process works before sending it. If it works like I think it might I’ll call Marianne when she returns on the 7th.
Richard Bowers SVP Operations (Company Name, Location) 617 343 xxxx
Aug 30 8:44 His Executive Assistant Susan Richardson answered –said that HR is in charge of staffing – she seemed pretty stiff – make a not to drill down in this organization to other decision makers. I asked her who the Director was and she wouldn’t tell me. Maybe I need to read some more of that MagicMethod stuff…
As you see, in a very few (16) minutes, on our first call-through, we called through five people in our list, talked to three and out of those five seemed to get a lead on a newly opened job. How cool is that? Just imagine the results from the other 95!
Notice I said “first call-through” above. You’ll want to do numerous call-throughs on this list because most upper-management call lists will yield something like the following:
Out of 100 names on the first call-through:
40 will answer live (either them or their assistants).
60 will answer with their Voice Mails.
Of those 60 that answer with Voice Mails 10-15 will direct you to other people in the department that might help you.
Out of 60 names on second call-through:
10 will answer live (either them or their assistants). Most of these ten are likely to be the person you have listed.
50 will answer with their VoiceMails. Most of these messages will be the same as you heard the first time calling but they still warrant listening to again. People go on vacation, get sick, etc. and change their messages and especially during popular vacation times more will do this. Those that do this are also likely to add additional people in the same department for you to contact in their absence.
Out of 50 names on third call-through
Again 5-10 will answer live (either them or their assistants). Most of these are likely to be the person you have listed.
40-45 will answer with their VoiceMails. Same drill as second call-through.
Of the 40-45 remaining pretty much the same numbers as the third call-through for hold for the fourth call-through. It doesn’t change much until the next (fifth call-through) and now, of the 35-40 you have left remaining about half you will never get through to. But still, theres’ the other half that holds promis and 15-20 possibilities isn’t a bad number to chase on a sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and even tenth call-through.
Remember, each time you call through it will take less time. Your second call through will take maybe two hours – your third maybe 1 ½ hours. Subsequent call-through times will lessen to about an hour and then they won’t take much below an hour because remember, there are some that are basically unreachable most of the time but you have to try.
I list the times I call so on subsequent call-throughs I call at different times thinking this person or that person may work different hours.
There’s my hope for you on this Monday – that over the weekend you created a list of companies you’d like to work, assembled names of people in the department you’d like to land in using the Internet, found out their phone numbers by calling into the office while they were closed and fooling around in their phone banks and are now ready, it already being way past 10:00 a.m. ET, to start your calling.
That’s enough for today and I’m sure you’ll need to read this over again to fully understand what I’m talking about. Next we’ll talk about using a company’s automatic “directory assistant” to uncover the names inside a company. That’ll be fun. We'll also talk about what you should say to those assistants who do answer their boss's phone and I'll reveal a secret about how you can avoid even her.
Gentlemen, start your engines.
Telephone Names Sourcer
513 899 9628
Maureen at techtrak.com