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Powerful Opening Statements for Resume Follow-Ups

The follow-up phone call (after you send your resume) must begin with a powerful statement that hooks the listener. The best opening statement after your greeting is to immediately mention the name of someone who referred you, someone who the hiring manager cares about. This may be a company executive, company employee, client, fellow professional, family member, lodge brother, and so on.

Another powerful statement is to start out by mentioning that you’re currently working for or recently left the employment of a major competitor.

Use statements that detail accomplishments

Your accomplishments and results in past jobs or endeavors are what give your pitch a critical edge. Here are several examples:

In my current position, I led a team to develop new sales strategies which this year boosted each store’s sales by $90,000 per month.
I was vice president of the campus economics club – second in leadership for 45 members. Our competitive project, which I chaired, was rated tops in a national competition.
When my employer’s offshored customer service experiment failed, the department was recalled to Florida. I put in place a new process to handle complaints that boosted customer satisfaction by 45 percent.

After making your accomplishment opening statement, follow with a request to meet face to face: “If you’re interested in knowing more about that, can we schedule a time when I could come in for a short talk?”

Get information from a central phone operator

If the company you’re calling employs a central phone operator or receptionist, you may get lucky and find out the very information you need from that individual to follow up on your resume.

Companies sometimes slam on an information freeze that forbids releasing the names of their employees. The companies train people who answer phones to conform to the no-loose-lips policy.

In many offices, the central phone operator is a welcoming individual who’s probably treated like a robot and will buy into an approach that recognizes her or his inner human being. Be friendly, and then say something like this:

I’m sure the incoming calls keep you hopping, so please put me on hold when you find it necessary. Please tell me, who is the manager for the new product marketing department? Oh thank you. I appreciate your help. And could you also tell me who the manager reports to? Thanks a billion.

If you’re bonding with the central phone operator, go for broke. Ask for the manager’s secretary’s name, best time to call, and does the manager work early, late, or weekends. Aim to uncover your target’s direct telephone number.

Now you can use the old top-down approach: Call the manager’s boss, who will probably refer you to the manager. But now when you call the manager you say you’ve been referred by his boss, which will get you more respect.

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