Getting Past the Gate-Keeper

One new method for finding a job is to pick up the phone and call the hiring managers and/or executives directly, however, very few people are successful at using this technique for a variety of reasons. Having been a Recruiter for almost 7 years, getting past gate-keepers was always one of my specialties. Being a Recruiter requires you to be able to get past gate-keepers to the hiring managers in much the same way that a job seeker would try to bypass a gate-keeper. After many years of exploring what works and what does not, I have found a few specific things that you can do the next time you are calling into a company that will assist you in getting past the gate-keeper. Below are some of my suggestions:

1) Have a Linkedin profile. Having a Linkedin profile is a great way to gather the names of the people you want to contact, and also to find out information about the person that can help you to break the ice. In addition, you can use Linkedin groups to connect with people you might otherwise have no connections with. In a later article I will explain how Linkedin will benefit you when communicating with the executive once you have him or her on the phone.

2) When you call into a particular company, it is important not to use the full name of the person you are calling or address to address that person by Mr. or Mrs. For example, if you are trying to reach Bob Jones, the CEO of ABC corporation, and you say to the receptionist “Is Mr. Jones available?” this is an immediate red flag. There are a few reasons that calling the person by Mr./Mrs. or their full name can be a red flag.
-If you call them Mr. or Mrs., this likely means you are not someone who ranks high on the list of people whose calls should be put through. Close acquaintances or business associates usually call each other by their first names. Also, if Bob had a more unique last name such as Remeinzski, and you mispronounced it, it would be rather obvious that you do not know Bob.

3) Do not launch into a story about who you are and why you are calling. Business associates, family members, and friends are short and to the point and expect to be put through rather than rattling on about why they are calling. You want to create a sense that you already know Bob. An example of how to do this would be to say something to the effect of “Is Bob around?” Nothing complicated, just short and to the point. If they ask what it is regarding you could say “I am just calling him back” or “I was just following up regarding an email…” Less is more. There is no need to make a long drawn out complicated story.

Generally these few tips will help you to get past the gate-keeper if executed properly. Stay tuned for my next article on how to talk to the executive once you have him or her on the phone, and how Linkedin can help facilitate that conversation…

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