Ahh, technology. It can make communication so much faster, easier, and more convenient. But if used improperly, it can also give the wrong impression. It’s important for all professionals, especially those currently on the job hunt, to make sure they’re using technology to present a positive image of themselves. Recently, we posted an article about Social Media Etiquette for Jobseekers. Today, we follow that up with the dos and don’ts of email and telephone etiquette.
be easy to get in touch with
If you make it too difficult for hiring managers to get ahold of you, they’re going to move to the next name on their list. Follow these tips:
- Ensure that your email and voicemail are both in working order, and that your mailboxes are not full. You would hate for a hiring manager’s message to bounce back and be unable to reach you.
- Make sure that your name is featured in both your email address and your voicemail message. That way, the hiring manager will be assured that they’re reached the right person.
- Check your email and voicemails at least 3 times a week while you’re job hunting. Respond to messages promptly. Otherwise, you may miss opportunities for interviews.
Choose your email address carefully
Your email address is one of the first pieces of information a hiring manager will see about you. Make sure it gives a good first impression. If your email address does not meet the qualifications below, you can create a new email account which you use only for job searching.
- The best email addresses for the job search are simple – they include your name and not much else. Examples: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Do not use an email address that could be seen as suggestive or offensive, such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Avoid using an email address that highlights your personal interests, unless those interests are relevant to the job. For example, email@example.com might work if applying to a cat shelter, but not really for anything else.
- Make things easy on the hiring manager – avoid email addresses that are difficult to type (such as firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Don’t confuse the hiring manager by giving an email address with someone else’s name on it.
- Beware of age discrimination: it can be dangerous to use the year of your birth in your email address (such as email@example.com). Also, be aware that certain older email domains, including aol.com, hotmail.com, and bellsouth.net, are seen as old-fashioned by some hiring managers.
write like a professional
- Treat every email you send to a hiring manager as if it’s being graded by your strictest English teacher. Use perfect spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar. If this is not your strength, you may want to get someone to proofread your message before you send it.
- Use language which is more formal than casual. Steer clear of abbreviations such as “u r” for “you are.” Do not use slang, emojis, multiple exclamation points, etc.
- Start with a formal greeting – such as “Dear Mr. Jefferson” – and end with a closing and signature – for example, “Thank you for your time, James Madison”.
- The first email you send to a hiring manager counts as your cover letter. It needs to include all the information a cover letter normally contains, such as what job you’re applying for, details of why you’d be a great fit for the job and why you’re excited about it, and where you are in the application process.
- Double-check before you hit “send” – did you remember to attach your resume?
sound like a professional
- Make sure your outgoing voicemail message is appropriate. If your message is more funny than serious – or if you have an impersonal, machine-generated message – change it.
- Tone of voice is crucial when you’re having a phone conversation with a hiring manager. Smile and sound enthusiastic. Also, they won’t hire you if they can’t understand you, so make sure that you speak slowly and clearly.
- Be careful to use proper grammar, avoiding slang or casual expressions.
- If they call at a bad time – when you’re someplace noisy or distracting – let it go to voicemail and call them back later.
- If you have a phone interview scheduled, set aside a quiet place with good reception. (You can call 225-231-3733 to book our conference room for a phone interview.) Have your resume and notes in front of you – a phone interview is like an open-book test.
If you have any more questions about email or telephone etiquette for jobseekers, don’t hesitate to call us at 225-231-3733.
Written by Lynnette Lee