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Getting the most from contacts

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Whether it is sending in a résumé or following up with a post-interview phone call, there are many times it is necessary to effectively communicate with prospective employers.

Phone calls, written contact and in-person meetings with employers are good opportunities to market your skills and professionalism during the job-search process.

Speaking to a potential employer can occur at several points during your job hunt. You can begin your job search by calling prospective employers in the area and inquiring if they have positions open or if they expect to be hiring soon.

Or you can speak to an employer when they ask for an interview with you, when you are calling to thank them for the interview, or ultimately, when you are contacted with a job offer.

If calling an employer, be sure to call during regular business hours. Begin with your name, whom you would like to speak with or the reason for your call.

Speak clearly and slowly, and always keep in mind that you want the discussion to be brief and professional. Stay focused on the reason for contacting the employer. Do not chew gum or eat while speaking on the phone.

When following up after submitting an application or after an interview, wait a few days to a week to call the employer. Begin with your name and the position you applied for, as well as the date of your interview.

Do not repeatedly call the employer. There is a fine line between being a confident job hunter and being an aggressive caller.

Any written material you send, from the cover letter to an interview thank-you note, is as important as phone contact. Written material may stay filed with the employer for some time, so be sure that any correspondence you send represents how you would like to be perceived as a possible employee. Everything should always be spellchecked and thoroughly reviewed.

Your letter of interest, résumé, application and any other written material should be formally presented. Use a standard font, such as Times New Roman, and keep the formatting simple. Your writing should be short, precise and to the point.

Even if you have spoken to a potential employer on the phone and submitted material in writing, an in-person meeting will solidify his or her first impression of you.

Do not be late if you have an appointment. Arriving for a meeting five to 10 minutes early will ensure that you are prepared.

When interviewing or contacting employers in person, dress as you imagine the interviewers and management staff would dress. All companies and organizations are different, but it is always better to overdress than underdress. Present yourself as though it was your first day on the job.

There will be a great opportunity to meet employers at the “Career Connect” job fair presented by the Albuquerque Journal on Tuesday, April 29, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Embassy Suites. More information will be released soon. Take advantage of this event to effectively communicate with prospective employers and be one step closer to your next job.

This is a regular column written by the N.M. Department of Workforce Solutions. For more information, go to dws.state.nm.us.

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