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Please, Don’t Do That!

Common job search missteps

A well-executed job search requires diligence, research, and making the most of your professional network. After all that effort, you don’t want to miss an opportunity because of an avoidable blunder. It seems unlikely, but the following situations are not uncommon in the job search process – ask a Hiring Manger or Recruiter!

That’s really your email address?

You absolutely need to think about your email address before beginning your job search. Why? Because it’s a reflection of you, and it’s important! Email is an essential communication tool.

Consider the following examples (fictitious, but based on real ones we’ve seen):

You may be an outgoing, fun person, but this email address doesn’t present a serious professional image. It may be OK if you’re applying to a local brewery, but not for most positions. ‒ or ‒

What about these? They don’t convey a negative image, and they may make a lot of sense to the owner and their friends, but they’re just plain difficult to read. Make it easy for people to contact you!

Ideally, your email will be something like:

[First Name] [Middle Initial] [Last Name]

Don’t use separating characters like dots or underscores. If someone already has that address, add a simple number at the end.

[First Name] [Middle Initial] [Last Name]

Finally, if you don’t want to change your email address because everyone knows it, create a new one just for your search. It’s easy and its free!

Don’t miss an opportunity because your email address isn’t easy to read.

Working remotely?

If you’re working remotely, and using company tools, DO NOT use that equipment (Computer, Phone, etc.) for your job search efforts! Your company probably retains the right to any of the information stored on these devices, and that information might be subject to search.

There’s currently a case in Canada in which an employee was released for engaging in “time theft.” Apparently their employer had installed time-tracking software on the company computer they were using. It’s a different issue from job-searching, but the concept is there.

You could read the company’s fine print legalese to verify, but why not make it easy on yourself? Use your personal devices for any and all aspects of your job search!

Phone fubars

You’ve done all the right things: You’ve developed a Professional Network, you’ve contributed to that community, you’ve learned about current best practices in your field, and now one of your contacts has given your phone number to the Hiring Manager for a job you would love to have!

The mailbox is full!

The Hiring Manager called to introduce herself and schedule a time to talk, but she couldn’t leave you a message! Never happens, right? Not unusual when I tried to reach someone as an Executive Recruiter.

You have reached 123-555-1234

Once again, someone critical to your search for a new position has reached out to you, but they’re not sure if they have the right number! Now they’re aggravated, because they have to dial again to make certain they got it right. They may not bother to leave you a message.

If you’re anticipating calls related to your job search, you MUST have a clear, crisp, professional voice mail. Not the time to be a comedian, to mumble, or to have party noise in the background. Be clear and simple, with a welcoming tone of voice:

This is [First Name ‒ Last Name]. Please leave me a message, and I will return your call.

Ask a friend or relative to call and give you their thoughts. And remember to check it frequently!

Leaving your message

The same advice for leaving a voice mail. Speak at a reasonable pace, and be clear and concise. Don’t reel off your phone number like a machine gun! Make it easy for them to return your call.

Hello [person you tried to call]. This is [First Name ‒Last Name]. I’m sorry we weren’t able to connect. I will be available [broad time ranges], and I’m looking forward to speaking with you. My number is . . .

Bottom line

With all the variables involved with finding your next position, make sure you’re able to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way.

o Present a professional image

o Respond clearly and promptly

o Make it EASY for someone to reach you!

There are a lot of small but important things to think about when you’re job-hunting, don’t miss out.

Call us at 774-612-3104 for a no-commitment introductory conversation. Or visit us at to learn more about how we can help you.

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