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Whether you”re trying to get through to someone to schedule a job interview or an informational interview or to ask about job openings, keep in mind the following tips.

– BEST TIMES OF DAY TO CALL. Typically, the best time to reach someone is between 11:15 A.M. and noon, when morning meetings have adjourned and the lunch hour hasn’t started. Another time when people are more likely to be free is after 4:00 P.M.

– VOICE MAIL AS A TOOL. Placing your call early or very late in the day, when the call screener (typically a 9-to-5 employee) isn’t likely to answer, often gives you the opportunity to leave a voice mail message on the person’s direct line. Play on the person’s ego by mentioning positive things you”ve heard or read about him that make you want to meet him.

– THE RIGHT ATTITUDE. Be friendly and upbeat every time you call, much less annoyed that someone from whom you need a favor hasn’t returned your call, much less acknowledged your existence. Always be considerate of other people’s time by being direct, courteous, and to the point.

– THE CALL SCREENER. Don’t try to become friends with a call screener, but do sound friendly and positive. A secretary or assistant who finds you to be aggressive or curt will undoubtedly find reasons to not put your call through. State that you know the person you”re trying to reach must be very busy and then ask the most convenient time of day for her to be reached. If your mission is accomplished, a second thank you to an especially cooperative and cordial call screener is deserved.

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