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Professional Communication 

Communicating with Employers by Phone

  • Make sure you are calling from a quiet location, free of any potential distractions.

  • Speak professionally, clearly and with confidence.

  • Smile 

  • Always be very polite with administrative staff and assistants.

  • Check and respond to all messages promptly (within 24 hours). You may need to call several times before you are able to connect with the employer. Be mindful of the time you are calling (what are the business hours of the employer you are contacting?)

  • If nervous, create a phone script. See below for phone script templates.

  • Keep your call short and to the point. Always be prepared to take notes and have your schedule available in case they would like to arrange a meeting.

  • End your call politely by thanking the employer for their time.

  • If you receive a call from an anonymous number and you think it may be a prospective employer, it's okay to let the call go to voicemail, especially if you are rushing to class or are at all unprepared to take the call. Check the voicemail and call the employer back when you are calm, collected, and prepared to speak with both your resume and the job description in front of you.

  • If you are leaving a voicemail, speak slowly and clearly. Be sure to state your first and last name at the beginning of the message and state the number you can be reached at two times. ("again, that number is .......").

Communicating with Employers by Email

  • Use professional business letter formatting, and avoid the use of colors, unusual fonts and emoticons.

  • Include a subject line that is clear and concise. Do not use slang or short forms. Common short forms used when texting are unacceptable when emailing, and create a negative first impression.

  • Use a professional greeting, avoiding the use of informal language such as "Hey", "Hi there" or "What's up". "Dear Mr. or Mrs." or "To the hiring managers at ....." are examples of professional greetings.

  • Be precise and ensure your message is clear to the recipient.

  • Proofread and spell check your email before you hit send. Consider having someone else read your email as a second round of editing.

  • Check your email regularly and respond to new messages promptly.

  • Create an email signature with your contact information and a link to your portfolio (if applicable) or LinkedIn profile.