Nearly half the calls you will receive this year will be spam, according to a recent FCC report. Despite the “Do Not Call” registry and laws designed to prohibit certain types of calls made with the intention to defraud, the number of robocalls is only growing, topping 47.8 billion in 2018.

As more calls appear from unrecognized numbers, sending these calls to voicemail is a quick solution, but doing so could mean missing out on important calls from doctor’s offices, delivery services and more. For job seekers, the robocall epidemic is creating a unique challenge: how to tell if an incoming call is for a legitimate job opportunity or just more spam.

When to Answer: Dealing with Robocalls During Your Job Search

When you’re in the middle of a job search, a phone call from an unfamiliar number can be exciting. It could be a recruiter reaching out to set up a more formal interview or a company’s HR contact conducting an initial screening. Of course, as our phones continue to be inundated with robocalls, many people have decided not to pick up the phone at all. So what’s the best move?

Take the call. If you’re in a position to answer the phone – you aren’t in the middle of a meeting, for example – it’s best to pick up. During this initial outreach call, the recruiter’s goal is to set up a more formal phone interview at a later date. The recruiter will only need a few moments of your time to do so. You can also confirm the number the recruiter will call you back from so you won’t mistake it for a nuisance call in the future.

If you can’t take the call, check your voicemail promptly. A recruiter will leave a brief message with call back details. When you get a free moment, check the message and return the call, ideally within the same business day. During an initial candidate screening, recruiters will be working their way through a list of names and may have limited time for repeat follow-ups – don’t miss out on your chance to connect.

If you aren’t interested in the position, it’s still beneficial to call back.

Even if you are not interested in the current opportunity, it’s still worth following up with the recruiter. Briefly share a few details about the position you are looking to land. This way, when the right opportunity comes across the recruiter’s desk, they’ll know to reach out.

There’s no denying that robocalls are a frustrating nuisance. As you connect with more recruiters during your job search, however, you’ll be able to save their numbers. Not only will there be fewer mystery callers, but you’ll also be one step closer to landing that next exciting opportunity.

For more job seeker tips, learn how to optimize your resume for online submission and how to get past the first phone interview.


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