[Noozhawk's note: Third in a series. Click here for a related article.]
Many people don’t realize that while job searching they sabotage their chances with the wrong communication techniques. The three main culprits are cell phones, email and social media. Part one of this process deals with cell phones.
What does your voice mail message say about you? If I call and get, “This is James, dude. Wad up?” What kind of impression have you given me? Your message should reflect a professional tone with a concise message. Do you want your potential boss to be greeted with “wad up”? So, when you’re ready to go into the workforce, change it.
I suggest instead something like, “Hi, this is James. I’m sorry I can’t take your call right now, but if you’ll leave me your name and telephone number I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks for calling.”
Most of all, understand the people you are with should always take precedent over phone calls or text messages. Let’s review some business phone etiquette:
» Do not make or receive calls during a business meeting. Let your voicemail take your calls. Place your phone on silent or vibrate at that time. The same is true for text messages.
» If you are expecting an important call or text that cannot be postponed, prior to the meeting's start alert people to the situation.
» If you receive the call, step away from the meeting and keep the call brief. Use discretion when discussing private matters. Keep your voice low in consideration of those around you.
» Do not use your cell phone for talking or texting while driving unless you have a Bluetooth device.
» Never text message while in motion, during religious services, funerals, weddings, court proceedings or while sitting at a dining table.
» Return all phone calls within 24 hours.
Because I follow these guidelines, I’m put off when those with whom I’m meeting start taking calls or messages during my time with them. Taking phone calls or texting with others tell those you are with that they aren’t as important to you as the person on the phone.
How did this mindset come about for me? When my granddaughters were 14 and 13 years old, they used to visit my wife and me for two weeks every summer. That was always an extremely busy work time for me, and I was constantly on my cell phone when I was with them. During one visit, they drew a picture of my wife and me on the front of a thank-you card they made for us. The picture showed my wife taking a tray of cookies out of the oven. I was standing next to her with a cell phone in my ear.
When I saw that, it hit me. I had been sending the wrong message to those kids! From that summer forward, when I was with my grandchildren, my cell phone was off. I’d check messages away from them, but they never saw me with my phone stuck to my ear again.
My story is important because sometimes we aren’t aware of the negative impressions we create for others. Be aware of the unspoken messages you send to people.
Great Video Information
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5 Keys to Successful Cell Phone Etiquette
» Record a professional voice mail message and ringtone.
» When with others, put your cell phone on silent or vibrate.
» If you must take an important call or text, apologize in the beginning of your meeting and explain that you must be available.
» If you must take a call or text, excuse yourself and step away to a private place and keep the call brief.
» Return phone calls within 24 hours.
Action Item: Try using the above techniques. People will view you in a more positive light.
Next week we’ll talk about Email and Social Media.
— John Daly is the founder and president of The Key Class, the go-to guide for job search success. Click here to learn more about The Key Class or get information on Thursday night classes in Santa Barbara.