Contacting employers

First impressions often stick, so make sure you make the right mark when you first speak to a potential employer. Here's how to ring someone about a job.

Girl calling an employer

Must. Use. Posh. Voice. Must. Use. Posh. Voice.

Telephoning for a job

Often you will have to phone the company for an application form, some employers may want to ask you some questions before they send it to you.

What’s my phone voice got to do with getting a job?

For a lot of jobs you have to phone for an application form. You might get asked some questions on the phone before the company agrees to send one to you. Every now and then they may even ask you to do a phone interview. Sound like a loser on the phone and you’re off to a bad start.

What if they want to interview me over the phone?

Never agree to be interviewed there and then – they will be catching you unprepared. You should always ask to be interviewed at a more convenient time so you can do your research and be ready for them.

When phoning you should:

  • Read the advertisement thoroughly – particularly the job title and job description;
  • Try to find out a bit about the company and the job, so you can prepare some questions about the job;
  • Telephone from a quiet room, where you won’t be disturbed;
  • If you don’t have a phone, ask a friend or neighbour whether you can pay to use theirs;
  • If you have to use a public phone, make sure you have plenty of change – even better use a phone card which has many units left;
  • Have a copy of your Curriculum Vitae (CV) at hand – you will then have your education and employment history ready in response to relevant questions;
  • Have pen and paper ready, in case you need to make any notes;
  • Have your diary at hand, in case you are asked to an interview.

You shouldn’t:

  • Have people around who may distract you;
  • Eat, drink, chew gum, or smoke when making the phone call;
  • Run out of money, if using a public phone.

Writing for a job

You may have to write a letter in reply to an advertised job. It is usually better to type the letter – employers may not bother to read a letter if it is written by hand and difficult to read. But some employers do prefer letters to be hand written – check the advertisement.

When writing a letter:

  • Do a rough draft first – read it through to make sure that it makes sense, and that there are no spelling mistakes;
  • Use black type or ink on unlined A4 sized paper;
  • Only type/write on one side of the paper;
  • Include your full address and telephone number;
  • Include the full date;
  • Include the name of the person you are writing to and the company’s address;
  • Be clear as to what the letter is about;
  • Be clear and concise with personal details which are relevant to the job;
  • Sign your name and print or type your full name underneath your signature.

Next Steps

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Updated on 29-Sep-2015