More On Voice Mail

I was recently called by a fellow in his thirties who came to Canada just over a year ago. He was a Chartered Accountant in India and his experience has included a number of years with large international firms. He has one year's experience in Canada with a small CA firm.

This guy strikes me as being an excellent candidate. His English is very good, he has a bright, energetic manner of speaking, he's not at all shy but he's very polite and he seems to have good experience. I would consider him a definite hire.

He told me that his goal was to get into a local CA firm as an articling student so that he can become a Canadian CA. He was calling partners in the firms to apply but he had the belief that it was necessary to actually engage the potential employer in a conversation and, so, he had not left one voice mail message. He wasn't having any success and asked me what I thought he should do.

Well, first of all, he seems to be calling at a bad time. Most of the firms have already planned on bringing in new students when the school year ends. So, he has to plan for the next hiring period which I think is in the fall.

Secondly, I told him that he has to leave voicemail messages. There are two reasons for this. First of all, as he had found, it's very difficult to get someone on the phone. And, secondly, even if you do, there's a good chance that you will be interrupting him when he is in the middle of something.

So, I emailed him the following advice:

I suggest that you call all of the people on the list once a month and leave them voice mail messages and email your resume to them after each time you call.

Below is a basic voice mail message. Naturally, you can alter it to suit your own manner of speaking. But I think it covers the main points in a brief, direct manner.

"Hi, my name is XYZ. I'm a Chartered Accountant from India with 14 years experience, including 4 years at [high-profile, international firm]. I have one year of Canadian experience and I'm looking for an opportunity to be a CA articling student so that I can work towards my CA designation in Ontario. What I can offer you is a lot of good experience for a modest salary. I'm hoping that we can have a chat about employment by phone or in person. I'd really appreciate a call. You can reach me at 416-111- 1111."

[I also gave him some advice about receiving calls at home].

If someone is at home during the day and picks up your calls, he or she should be taught how to answer the phone and take a message in a businesslike fashion. If someone is at home who does not speak English, your calls should
definitely be allowed to go straight to voice mail.

You should have Bell Canada voice mail service. It costs about $5 or $6 dollars a month and can take messages even if someone is on the phone. It would probably be best to get an Identicall number. This is a second number for your
same phone line. It costs about $5.00 per month and rings differently so that your family members will know not to answer any call that comes in with two rings.

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