What your email address and voice mail say about you

An employer received a resume for a job opening. The contact information at the top of the resume listed the email address lmfao@yahoo.com. Another employer called a candidate to schedule a job interview, and was greeted with LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” in the voice mail greeting.

Are you surprised that both employers moved on to the next candidate?

You actually get multiple chances to make a first impression with potential employers. Your resume and cover letter. Your handshake and dress. Your interview answers and questions.

And your email address and outgoing cell phone message.

Employers want to know whether or not you’re a candidate for the job. It starts with whether or not you take the job search seriously. Fair or unfair, a cute email address or funny voice mail message can give the wrong impression. What’s funny to one person may be inappropriate to another. In a competitive job market, there’s no room for taking chances.

Email address

  • Use a simple, professional email address for job searching. Your first name or combination of your name with numbers serves the purpose.
  • Don’t contact potential employers from an email address such as partygal@hotmail.com or rockfan@yahoo.com. With so many email options available, create an account specifically for job searching. This lets you keep your “rock fan” or “party gal” status with friends while corresponding with companies from a different address. Doing so will help you keep better track of applications and inquiries, too.
  • If you share an email address with a family member, spouse, or friend, now’s the time to create your own account.
  • Create a professional signature for your outgoing email. List your name, contact information and title (if appropriate).

 Voice mail

  • Avoid the funny outgoing message. You know, the one that plays music, has your kids record the message or lets your dog bark the greeting. They get a chuckle from family and friends, but possibly an eye roll from an employer.
  • Change your voice mail message to one that won’t ruffle a potential employer’s feathers. Keep it simple: “Hi you’ve reached 704-555-1212. Please leave a message and I’ll return your call promptly.” Boring? Maybe. Professional? Definitely.
  • Let your roommates know you’re job searching. If you share a phone with someone else, be sure they’re on board with the professional outgoing message approach. Additionally, make sure they’ll remember to give you messages!

During the job search every contact you make with employers – in person, over the phone, or through email – has the potential to make or break a job offer. Once you’re hired, celebrate with a funny outgoing voicemail or email from your “alter ego” account!