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How to Stand Out in a Candidate’s Voicemail

QUESTION: What does your voicemail sound like if you are calling someone who has put their resume on a job board?  – Trish

ANSWER: If I tell them, I saw your resume on a LinkedIn, Indeed, whatever, so have ten thousand other recruiters.   

When we used our same recruiting presentation, “I have no idea, Trish, where you are at in your career, I just wanted to talk to you quietly and confidentially to see if you are open to pursuing an opportunity that could be potentially stronger than your current one. What are your thoughts on that?” We found we got much better voicemails.  

They go, did you see my resume on LinkedIn or Indeed? We would not lie. We would just say, your resume is on Indeed? It creates the illusion that we did not get their information from a job board.  

When you are fishing off a job board, when you say, I saw your profile on LinkedIn, you are doing what everyone is doing. You are commoditizing yourself. You want to create the illusion that you found them in some unique and mystical way. The metaphor I will use is, there is really no such thing as when you watch a magician as real magic, meaning the stuff that disappears does not disappear. The magician, the really good ones, like Penn and Teller, are brilliant at creating the illusion that it disappeared. All the evidence to your senses tells you that the thing disappeared, and we know it did not.  

My goal as a recruiter was I wanted to create the illusion that I wound through this tight network of secret individuals who were bragging about other talent in the marketplace. I was able to spot them, and this was maybe my only call of the day. If you did talk to somebody who says, “I do not know what Joe’s situation is, but Joe is pretty good”, you can always say, “Hey, Joe, I was in a conversation with somebody earlier today who had some really neat things to say about you.  I have no idea, nor did he, have any idea what your current situation is. I just wanted to see if you were open to having a conversation about an opportunity that could potentially be stronger than your current assignment. Curious as to your thoughts on that. Give me a call.”  

This is a great question because I think that is one of the reasons people are getting lower call rates because we are leaving the same voicemails, and we are basically showing them the trick. I saw your resume on Indeed. I saw your profile on LinkedIn. I get calls like that every week. This is not special.  

You think, why did they put their resume on Indeed? I do not know, which is why when they ask if you reviewed their resume on Indeed, I say, “Well, I am really not interested right now in your resume. I am really interested right now in when you are looking at your next assignment, what would that look like for you in a really good, perfect world?”  

I want to get them talking about themselves. I want to get the candidate talking about desire. I do not want to talk about CVs, resumes, backgrounds. These types of conversations are much more productive.

Photo by Miryam León on Unsplash

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