My Medical Device Sales Career
I reached for the phone and began to dial the Job Candidate who sent me his resume; the phone rings several times and then I hear his out-of-office greeting. My heart sinks and I quickly hang up the phone without leaving a message. I am not wasting my time with what I heard. What did I hear?
I heard a voice that sounded like no one I would ever want to hire! I hoped he would not redial my number. Wow, how could he be the person who sent me this not over the top strong, but decent resume? There was no hidden gem living on the other side of that phone!
So what happened? What did I hear? Well let's first start with the type of candidate I was looking for:
Job Candidate Traits Required:
So what did I actually hear? I heard what I could not see. Let me explain. When you are talking to someone over the phone our senses begin to work overtime. We can only hear someone. We are not distracted by the visual appearance of someone sitting before us; we only have the voice and sometimes a resume. Even without a resume, a voice will tell us if we have a person we would like to interview further for an open position. This is especially true for outside sales or any type of job opportunity that is representing the company to others in a service role.
So what did this poor guy do on his phone message that turned me off immediately? Here is what I heard and how I translated the sound of his voice:
What I heard:
How I translated what I heard :
I thought to myself, he actually prerecorded that message at a time when he is looking for a job; he may have even recorded this a few times to get it just right (don't most of us end up doing that before we hit the save button?). I mean, could he not hear himself? Could he have possibly listened to that message and said to himself, "Wow! I sound really sharp and someone I would want to hire if I were the Hiring Manager or Recruiter?"
Remember that most of these calls that I make are to people who have put their telephone number on their resume actively seeking employment; they are fully aware a recruiter or hiring manager will be using that number to call them for a possible phone interview!
In today's interview world the VOICE is most often the FIRST IMPRESSION of a candidate and the first or second barrier to getting to the face to face interview (it is the resume and/or the voice that we gather our first impressions). Certainly what the person has to say is important, but don't underestimate the tone of your voice and the emotion that is behind the voice driving the spoken word. It is often the emotion vs. the words people hear first! How many times have you heard someone say, "Are you OK today?" Then they may follow with, "You sound sad, you sound tired or (you get the idea)." So let's look at a few simple ways to improve your voice:
Finding Your Professional Voice
The voice is a powerful instrument that can help or hinder you getting to the face to face interview. As I tell some of my career clients, "If you can't get improvement in your tone of voice, than at least hire someone (if you are a man, a strong male voice, if you are a woman a firm female voice) to leave a professional message on your out of office service". You don't need to have a beautiful speaking voice to make a great impression, you just need one that sounds like someone we would want to hire!
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