Are your contact details killing your chances of getting a job?
Posted: 11/10/2011 5:00:00 AM
Mining Oil and Gas Jobs
Filed under: Recruitment
Job seekers are deluged with advice on how to get a job. Dutifully follow every piece of advice and you’ll get the job, right? Maybe not. A perfect resume
, excellent experience and good interviewing technique
might never be discovered if you’re eliminating yourself from consideration. In the early stages of an employment cycle, you’re being judged on the smallest things - and that's before anyone considers looking at your social media
profiles. Offend the sensibilities of the hiring manager and you won’t even get a look in.
Fact of life
Hiring managers are looking for the best candidate possible. Before they meet you, they rely on certain indicators to narrow their candidate pool. HR people, recruiters and hiring managers are under no obligation to hire anyone. They can reject applicants for whatever reason they want as long as they are not violating discrimination laws. It's a fact of life and not worth arguing about. If they view you as someone exercising poor judgement, you will never get the opportunity to convince them otherwise.
Sex, Politics, Religion and Drugs
Traditionally, talking about sex, politics or religion in mixed company was considered rude. In a job search, it’s best to remember these three areas can cause trouble, no matter how enlightened modern society has become. You may as well add drug use and partying to the list.
Australians enjoy freedom from religious persecution but your beliefs could make someone uncomfortable even when you share the same faith. References to your religion are best left out of your job search. Ending an email with “God bless you” or having a voicemail message reciting prayers could easily knock you out of the running for the job you want.
Your politics, especially if you’re involved in activists movements or emotive issues, have the potential to eliminate you from consideration especially if it conflicts with the views of the hiring manager. You must consider the priority of a job search is to secure employment, not advance an agenda.
Sexual references and preferences
For the most part, no one is really interested in your sex life. They’re just not. Plenty of people would rather not be confronted with the information. The job search is no place to reveal these sorts of personal details.
Drug use, drinking and partying
Remember, you’re looking for employment. Promoting the recreational side of your personality, especially if it involves illegal drug use, is not going to put you at the top of the list for attractive candidates.
So how does sex, drugs, religion and politics play into the early stages of a job search?
Your contact details could be killing opportunities.
Is your email address inappropriate for a professional setting? What about your voice mail messages? Your email signature? What seems fun or clever to your friends and family could be a warning sign to a hiring manager. References to drug use, sexual activities or political protests are not going to impress. It’s easy for a hiring manager to bypass the following candidates on the strength of their email address.
It would be wise to remove a Bible verse or a quote from the Koran in your email. Putting a link to an anti-government website in your email signature is also not advisable.
5 tips for fixing your contact details
You don’t have to deny who you are or what you believe in. The way you present yourself has everything to do with who you are as an employee. Before you start your job search, make sure to:
- Leave embarrassing email accounts out of the job search.
- Create a new email account using a combination of your first and last name.
- Make your contact details as straightforward and neutral as possible.
- Record a business-like voicemail message.
- Remove all references to sex, religion, politics or drug use in your correspondence.
You want to shine on your training, experience and accomplishments. You certainly don’t want to offend the sensibilities of the person doing the hiring. It’s best to err on the side of conservatism. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to make an impression during the hiring cycle. Don’t let yourself down before you get the chance to stand on your accomplishments.
What other advice would you give to job seekers? Have you had a bad experience with your own contact details you’d like to share?
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