Never underestimate the knowledge of gatekeepers. They know the schedules of the hiring authorities, their interests, responsibilities and preferences. They also know they are paid to screen out sales calls that will waste the time of these hiring authorities.
When you are in a job search, you are basically selling yourself and these gatekeepers can be your best friend or your worst enemy when they prevent you from talking to potential employers by screening out your call.
It’s important to realize that rudeness never works when attempting to get past the gatekeeper who can make or break your attempts to talk to hiring authorities. Ask this person for their name, ask them for help. Refrain from asking, “How are you?” because now they know you are a nervous person trying to sell something.
When you use a persons’ name during a conversation and ask them for their assistance, you are making them feel important. Most people treat gatekeepers like the person they must get around to get to the important person. That attitude is almost always screened out. Here are some tips to assist you:
- Call the night before to get the name of the person you want to reach. Your call is much more likely to be transferred if you have a name. Often your initial call is not answered by a person but rather a recorded message with options. One option is almost always to dial by name using your phone to spell out a name. This is another reason it is so important to call the night before and identify the person you are attempting to reach.
- If there is resistance in giving you the name, ask for the correct spelling of the name and they assume you have the name and will spell it out for you.
- Ask for the correct title. They again assume you have their title.
- Ask the receptionist when it is most convenient for you to reach that party.
Rick Christensen: Director, Career Transition Practice
Rick’s passion is coaching individuals through career transitions, developing career management strategies and in identifying and sharpening competencies to open doors to new opportunities. His efforts have assisted thousands of individuals achieve their full potential.