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5 Good Reasons to Pick Up the Phone Rather Than Rely on Your CV

When an employer or a recruiter advertises a vacancy the minimum that they want to see is some enthusiasm for the position and a CV which demonstrates the suitability of the applicant. Some people fall at the first hurdle by firing off a standard CV for every position that they apply for (I recently received a CV for a position at Newman Stewart where the candidate stated how much they wanted to work in the music industry!), but the majority of people will, at the very least, tailor their CV accordingly and write a cover letter or an email submitting a case for why they would be the ideal candidate for the position. But in this day and age is that really enough to ensure that you stand out from the crowd? Here are 5 reasons why picking up the telephone rather than relying on your CV alone could have a massive impact on your success at landing an interview.

Remember, remember…
There are well established figures that we recall 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear and 30% of what we see and although these figures have been widely disputed the general consensus is that we recall more of what we hear that we do of what we read. During the recruitment process the benefit of directly speaking to the recruiter/ employer will have an even greater effect as they will potentially have dozens of CVs to read but you may be the only one who has had the initiative to pick up the phone. As long as your skill set is relevant when compiling a short list who do you think will be the first person they will remember?

Make it personal
One thing that it is difficult to do on paper is demonstrate the whole of your personality. A certain amount can be interpreted through the words and expressions you use, but this is only part of the picture. By calling the contact for the vacancy you are giving them the opportunity to get more of a feel for who you are as a person and your enthusiasm for the position. If there is a connection and you have the required skills to carry out the job then you will have almost certainly guaranteed yourself an interview. If you are a long shot, but they like you, you will have increased the likelihood of them taking a chance on you. Of course, there is always the risk that there is a mismatch between you and the client / recruiter and that your conversation may rule you out at that point, but at least you have found this out early before potentially taking part in the time consuming and sometimes expensive interview process.

Paint a picture
By speaking to a recruiter or the employer directly you can get a feel for them as a person and what it would be like to be interviewed by them which will take away some of the anxiousness associated with the unknown if you were put forward to interview. If you are calling after your CV has been sent you are giving the recruiter the chance to ask questions to fill in any blanks or rectify any concerns they had about you on paper. It will also allow you the opportunity to ask questions about the interview process itself. If selected, having a thorough understanding of the interviewer and the process will allow you to be able to prepare adequately so that there are no surprises. Having confidence that you are fully prepared should allow you to get through the process with little to be nervous about.

On the job
Picking up the telephone to a potential employer / recruiter is particularly vital when applying for a sales position or a similar role. If you can’t pick up the telephone in order to sell yourself, how are you going to sell the services and products that you are required to push as part of the advertised role? By calling the person responsible for shortlisting candidates you are already positively demonstrating that you have the skills and attributes that they are looking for which, should significantly increase your chances of being selected.

Rule yourself out
Submitting untailored CVs for specific roles seriously decreases your chance of success but it is also time consuming adapting your CV and writing cover letters for every position you potentially want to apply for. By calling to discuss interesting roles before you start working on your CV you can quickly determine which roles you want to concentrate on and which roles you want to rule out for yourself as there isn’t an obvious fit. This allows you the time to adapt your CV and put forward your case to the vacancies with the most potential.

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