A picture may be worth a thousand words but how much thought do you give to the worth of your words? Whether the words are spoken, written or implied, those seemingly minor syllables have tremendous power to shape how you and your work are perceived.
At first glance, the idea may seem a bit silly, especially in a day and age where people dash off a text message while driving and conveniently shorten phrases to all-capped letters meant to substitute for a surprise, disgust or extreme happiness. It’s easy to see how it happens, especially if you’re a frequent user of social media. You may even justify the brevity in terms of the media being used. Why write an entire sentence when all Twitter requires is 140-characters? It all seems reasonable until you get sloppy and accidentally apply the texting and social media rules to real-life business communication.
What’s Acceptable, What’s Professional?
This is particularly true when you’re looking for a job. While many workplaces are slowly embracing social media, instant and text messaging and implementing changes sought after by millennial workers, businesses as a whole still remain largely traditional. As a result, there is an expectation that as an employee or potential employee that you’ll not only recognize the importance of this but will know the time and place for the right method of communication.
Ringtones – An audible ringtone in the workplace, or even worse during an interview (always turn the phone off for an interview), can quickly go from cute to annoying in record time. Love the sound of a winning slot machine every time your phone rings or perhaps the sound of the starting line of a race, complete with horns? You might and your co-workers might the first time that they hear it but after that, it’s more likely to be perceived as an unnecessary interruption, not to mention an unwanted addition to a quiet workplace.
Recorded messages on your phone – If you’re in the process of searching for a job, it’s important that each and every communication is perceived as succinct and professional. This is true for leaving a voicemail message and the personal recorded voicemail message on your phone. At the very least, provide your name, appreciation for receiving the call, and how soon that you’ll be able to return the message. When leaving a voice mail message, always provide your name, the spelling if it’s a unique name, a phone number and a brief reason for calling.
Email address names – Most of us want to be memorable in one way or another, but make sure your reason does not include an inappropriate email address. We hate to share and tell, but one email these staffing recruiters will never forget was a resume with the email address of firstname.lastname@example.org. While it’s reasonable to think that email will be memorable in more ways than one, it’s also one of the things that could keep you from getting the call or job position that you’ve been hoping for. One quick fix is to create an email address that will be used solely for job searching purposes.
No matter how technology continues to change our communication patterns, one thing remains clear. There is no way to over-do professional communication and good manners. In fact, it’s the one constant way to make sure that you’re noticed for all of the right reasons!
This article is brought to you by Staffing Kansas City, a full-service Kansas City employment agency that provides contract-to-hire, direct hire and temporary employment placement services.