Pixel Tracker

Tuesday, November 20 , 2018, 8:35 pm | Fair 51º


John Daly: Are You Sabotaging Yourself with Technology? Digital Communications, Part 2

[Noozhawk's note: Fourth in a series. Click here for a related article.]


Most people don’t think about their digital images when they start job hunting. As a result, they make poor impressions.

Talk about sending the wrong message! What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you get an e-mail from [email protected]? Is this an egomaniac? Is this person a personal trainer? It sends all kinds of unprofessional thoughts through my head! On the other hand, a message from TomK[email protected] appears professional and appropriate for someone looking for a new job. Need I ask which will impress a potential employer more? So, if you have a nutty e-mail address, change it to something more professional!

Most of the students with whom I work are always surprised that etiquette has anything to do with emails! But in business, email etiquette is essential. Here are some guidelines to follow.

» Subject line is to inform the purpose of the email. Keep it brief and relevant to content.

» Content should be on the formal side while always using a salutation, such as: “Dear Mr. King.”

» Always use a surname rather than a first name until advised a first-name basis is acceptable. This may be advised purely by a return signature.

» Don’t shout! Using all UPPER-CASE LETTERS is considered CYBER SHOUTING!

» Remember no email is private! Discuss private matters in person or by phone.

» Always employ the 24-hour rule when sending an emotion-packed message. Cool down and be sure to re-read your message before sending.

» Always proofread all messages before sending.

» Use a signature line containing your first and last name, company (if applicable) and contact information at the end of every email. This is helpful to the recipient to contact you in other ways if necessary.

Social Networks

The next big shocker for most of my students is evaluating their Facebook pages. Is that the same collective groan from you that I’m hearing in the classroom? What’s on your Facebook, MySpace or Twitter pages? Do you want your potential boss to know about your personal and social life? Should your prospective new employers see personal photos of you and your friends? Do you think prospective employers don’t check out your social media pages?

It’s critical to check the content of your social media pages before beginning a job search and clean them up. That’s right, take off anything you don’t want your grandmother to read! That means photos and statements undesirable to potential employers. Also be careful of religious beliefs and political opinions being voiced. Don’t use profanity. Stay conservative in content. Employers do go to Facebook, Twitter and other social networks to see what you are like when you’re not at work. Are you a wild party animal? Are you showing off your tattoos and piercings?

A former student of mine had a photo of herself with a group of friends in bathing suits in a dog pile on the beach, all holding up Coronas. No matter that they were close friends and that it was totally innocent, I told her to clean it up.

“But, it’s on Facebook! It’s private!” she blurted out indignantly.

I explained once something is on the Internet, it’s not private. Look at former Congressman Anthony Weiner and Twitter. Or Michael Phelps, the Olympic swimming champion, smoking dope at a party via YouTube. Both of their reputations were damaged because of this. Everyone has to conduct themselves carefully, especially when they are trying to create a good impression.

Great Video Information

(about.com video)(Zapwater video)  

5 Keys to Successful Digital Media

» Use a professional email address.

» Always use the same formal style as in a letter and always proofread before sending.

» Keep email brief and to the point.

» Before beginning a job search, clean up all social media. Remove anything that might be undesirable to a future employer, who will check out all your profiles.

» Don’t make offensive inflammatory remarks, argue about religion or politics or use profanity on social media.

Action Item: Use the above techniques before beginning a job search.

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. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >