Everyone has spoken to a company on the telephone before. What you may not know is that telemarketing and call center jobs are a wonderful way to break into a thriving industry. There are numerous entry level positions available, and call centers typically offer several career paths and training programs to help you advance.
In order to get started, there are several things to consider. You should do your homework about the types of positions as well as the types of companies where you’re applying. You should be familiar with your own skills, as well as likes and dislikes. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll want to think about your own experiences when you talk to a company on the phone. After all, you’ll be talking to customers just like you!
It may seem difficult to get telemarketing jobs, but it’s really quite easy to write a resume. With our help and a good resume template, you’ll have the perfect telemarketing resume in no time!
Getting in the Door
There are several different types of entry-level jobs available in call centers, for both part time and full time workers.
- Outbound Telemarketing: If you have an outgoing personality and a thick skin, outbound telemarketing could be a perfect fit. Most often used for sales, telemarketing is a skill that can be taught. You won’t be a sales professional to start with, but they will have sales scripts to help you. You’ll need to know how to capture a potential customer’s attention quickly and engage them in conversations. And you can’t be afraid to hear the word “no.”
- Inbound Sales: If you’re not comfortable placing outbound calls to customers, inbound sales is a high-energy role where the customers call you. You’ll still need great conversational skills and will need to be able to position products and overcome objections. The difference is that you won’t be cold-calling prospects. Both inbound and outbound sales are highly regulated, so attention to detail and willingness to learn and comply with the laws are essential.
- Customer Service: If you’re not inclined to sell, then you can start out in customer service. This role involves answering questions or solving problems for customers.
- Retention: If you really thrive on helping customers, retention is a good starting point. The down side is you’ll be talking to customers who want to cancel their account, so they’ll generally be less happy. However, you have the most potential to reverse their opinion and truly help them become a satisfied customer again.
- Repair Answer/Triage: If you are interested in learning more about technology but don’t have experience, you could be a call-taker in a technical support organization. Generally, triage technicians answer calls and do some basic troubleshooting to identify a high-level repair issue. They then assign the ticket to a repair technician for full troubleshooting and resolution.
- Technical Support: If you have experience in troubleshooting or repair in technology (such as phones, computers, internet, etc.) then you can often get an entry level position as a repair technician. This is generally more competitive but higher paying than a repair answer role.
Preparing for the Role
In any of the above roles, it’s important to have some basic skills on your resume.
- Communication Skills: You will be talking on the phone. Clearly, you need to have strong verbal communication skills. In a call-center job, your interview begins the moment you ask for an application, because basic conversational skills are so vital. Beyond that, you’ll need to have good written communication skills as well, both for customer communication and internal communication.
- Typing Speed and Accuracy: Although this isn’t the most important skill, good typing skills will come in handy, and are a great resume builder. All call center jobs have some part of performance evaluation that measures utilization or handle time, and you’ll be taking notes, scheduling appointments, and making updates on accounts. If typing is a struggle, this could affect your efficiency and quality.
- Listening Skills: Regardless if you are in sales or service, listening is a very important skill for this type of work. You must listen to your customers to be able to solve problems or offer appropriate solutions.
Using these telemarketing skills on your resume, and providing a brief, professional summary of your past experience in telemarketing or other forms of digital marketing, you’ll have a great resume! Along with a great cover letter (cover letter samples can be found all over). you’ll be ready for the interview!
In most call centers, there are several interviews. Someone in HR will perform the initial screening, making sure you have met the basic requirements for the job. They will absolutely be measuring your communication skills as well, especially if there’s a phone interview involved!
Once you pass the phone screening, you might interview with a supervisor or manager who actually manages the team you are applying for. They will still be evaluating your communication skills, but they’ll often give you scenario-based situations to test your functional abilities. If you’re applying for a telemarketing job, you might be asked to sell something. If you’re applying for a retention job, you might be asked to “save” someone.
Once you make it through the interview process, the most important thing is to listen to your customers. There will be training on the phones and computers, but most hiring managers are looking for someone who will listen to, and take care of, their customers. Whichever role you start in, use it as a springboard to find your path to success.
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