When receiving resumes, there is nothing worse than unprofessional looking email addresses. Just like the way you dress and the way you speak, your email is part of how you present yourself.
Do you really want to present yourself to a possible employer with an email address that looks in anyway sexually suggestive or just plain inappropriate? Do you think an employer would think you were a good candidate if your email address suggested you were a party animal or did drugs? If you want to be seen as a professional (which is important in any job position), there are a few things you need to avoid when creating an email address:
- being suggestive (sexually or otherwise)
- being cute
- using too many numbers
- excessive length
Ideally, you should try to use your name for your professional email – this is not always realistic if you have a common name; in which case you will need to add numbers (such as your birth year).
When sending an email to an employer, you need to be careful how it is written. Professionalism is just as important here. These are some of the most common mistakes made by people looking for jobs.
- No Subject – You should always fill in the subject as descriptively as you can – this will help the recipient to decide how important the email is. This does not mean write “IMPORTANT” or “URGENT” in the subject, but for example: “John Smith Application for Receptionist Position #1444”. If this is something that the employer is actively working on, your email will be seen as soon as possible.
- Always use a professional greeting. Avoid “Hi”, “Hey”, etc.
- Never write in all capitals; this comes off as harsh (as if you are yelling)
- Never write in all lower case; this looks childish and lazy
- Never use texting language in your email
Your email should be short and sweet. It should get your point across without wasting time, however still being polite. Instead of just writing your name at the bottom, create a signature block with your contact information. Before you send, make sure to proofread and spell check – this includes the removal of TXTing language (LOL, ROFL, TMI, etc.).
When a potential employer calls you to talk about your resume it is important that you continue the professionalism, even if you are not able to answer the call. It is much too often that you get someone’s voicemail and they don’t even say who’s phone it is or they say vague or inappropriate things. Here are some tips to make sure that your voicemail is set up properly for your job search.
- Your voicemail message should include your name, your phone number, and an alternate number or email address that you can be reached at
- Your message should be recorded in a quiet place to avoid background noise
- Smile while recording your message – it will make you sound like a friendlier and more approachable person
If you want to use a voicemail message like “Hey, it’s me” etc., then you should use a different phone number as your primary contact with a more professional sounding voicemail message.
When calling an employer please remember;
- Always state your name right away. I cannot stress this enough. You cannot assume that they know who you are! They may be in contact with 30 other Jessicas
- Be prepared and have a pen and paper with you, in case you are asked to come for an interview or call back another day etc.
- Be responsive, listen and try not to speak too quickly. The excitement of a possible interview can cause people to get nervous
- You want to convey the image of being calm, collected, and polite
Over the years I have seen it all, I have had voicemails that essentially shut the door on possible interviews, email addresses that made me wonder what the individual was thinking and talked to people who just could not articulate themselves over the phone. The bottom line is that Employers are looking for people who will represent their company in a positive, professional and appropriate manner. The tone or image that you set with your email address, emails and voicemails will either help or hurt you in your job search.