Leaving all the technical aspects aside there are some basic guidelines you should follow when you are looking for employment. These small, but valuable elements can take you a long way as far as being
the one to call back or being screened to the "not an ideal candidate" pile with your job application and/or resume being promptly discarded.
So what are these obvious important elements?
Your email address is something that represents you along with the other elements listed above. You should have a professional email address used on your job applications and resume. Emails such as "email@example.com" or "firstname.lastname@example.org" are not suitable emails and should not be used professionally. Emails such as "email@example.com" or "firstname.lastname@example.org" are much more professional and will reap better results.
- Your email address
- Your resume
- Your voice mail or answering machine message
If you don't have a professional email then go to Yahoo.com or Hotmail.com and sign up for a free account today.
Your resume can also make you look rather bad depending on your presentation of it. Resumes on colorful paper with "frilly" or "cartoony" borders are not acceptable. Using colorful paper like pink, green, purple, etc., is also something you should steer clear of. Presenting professional documents on colored paper may have worked for Reese Witherspoon in "Legally Blonde", but your potential employer won't think it is very cute, however, using cream, off-white, and pale gray resume paper is perfectly fine and leaves a positive lasting impression.
Last but not least, your voice-mail or answering machine message...
First and foremost, not having voice mail or an answering machine isn't a good idea. If a potential employer decides to give you a call and you aren't there don't count on them calling you again. With voice mail or an answering machine they can leave you their number so you may return their call giving you a greater chance of gaining an interview.
Secondly, you message greeting is key. Your message should be professional and neutral. Avoid allowing your children to create your greeting which will also let your employer know you have children and they are likely to make judgment calls on that along with the unprofessional greeting. You should also avoid "prank-like" greetings (i.e "Hello." [A short pause] "Ha Ha! I got you! Leave a message after the beep.") Avoid using slang, music, movie/tv excerpts (Yes people actually do this), the generic greeting the phone came with, etc. If you need help creating a professional greeting follow the template below:
"You have reached the voice mail box of [Your First & Last Name].
Remember, a first impression should be your best impression and even though it may not seem like it, but your first impression comes way before the interview.
I am unavailable at the moment, but if you could please leave your name, number, and a brief message; I will get back to you as soon as I can."
Happy Hunting Tampa!
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