You may be thinking, “well, DUH” right now, but you’d be shocked at how often this small detail goes overlooked – and how often a hiring manager kicks a resume into the circular file because of it. During your job search, it’s important to clearly display ways for potential employers to contact you – it’s frustrating for a hiring manager to have a perfect applicant, and have to struggle to reach them! Equally as important, these details must convey a professional image, giving a good impression of you as a potential candidate.
Your contact information, and the professional means in which you convey them, should be on your resume, email signature, and even your voicemail. When was the last time you gave everything a review? Here’s a quick checklist for you to use:
• Email Address: Always use a personal address, NOT your work email. If you’re currently employed, you’re putting that job in jeopardy; plus, it’ll make a future employer think twice about how trustworthy you can be with their business operations. There are plenty of free email accounts out there to choose from, and it’s easy to sign up!
Create a professional-sounding address to use for your job search correspondence; something like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org works well. However, JerzyShoreSHOTZ@email.com really doesn’t!
• Email Signature: Each email you send should include your full name, phone number – and your email address. Keep in mind, if your email gets forwarded, sometimes only your name gets pushed through, and not your complete email address. You want to be sure the receiver of the forwarded message can immediately find a way to contact you via email or through a call. Here’s how to do it in Gmail, Yahoo!, and Outlook.
Give more insight – include your LinkedIn profile, Twitter, or Facebook website links in your email signature as well – but ONLY if they are 100% professional! (Helpful hint: now might be a good time to Google yourself, and make sure what’s out there on the internet is helpful and not harmful to your job search. Try BrandYourself.com for free!) Create a customized or ‘vanity’ URL for your LinkedIn address; to find out how check out this article: “What Not to Do on LinkedIn”
• Resume – Page 1: On the first page of your resume list your full name, city, state, phone number, email address, personalized LinkedIn URL address – and other relevant professional or portfolio website links that enhance your candidacy.
• Resume – Page 2: Include contact details on the second page of your resume in case they get separated! It’s not necessary to list all of the same information as it appears on the first page; include your full name on the top left, and your phone number and email address on the top right.
Should your resume be one page, or two? For advice read: Q&A From the Trenches: Your Resume -Two Pages, Too Long?
• Getting Voicemail: Your voicemail should give a good impression and portray you as a potential employee; there should be no crying babies, kids laughing, dogs barking, music, or any type of background noise. Don’t have a ‘cutesy’ message either – identify yourself to ensure the caller they’ve reached the appropriate person, use a brief message, and keep it professional! Stay away from “So sorry you missed me but hey – you know what to do!” This will undoubtedly raise a few eyebrows.
Or, you can save them the trouble and answer all calls, even if you don’t know the caller. Caller ID has spoiled us! Assume all calls coming in during your job hunt are potential employers. If it turns out to be a call you don’t want, you can politely ask if they can call back at a more convenient time for you. (Use common sense–don’t take calls while driving, in a loud or crowded event, or while in the restroom!)
• Leaving Voicemail: It’s also important for you to impress when leaving a message for a prospective employer. Show your excellent communication skills by leaving a clear and well-spoken voicemail, with an intended goal. Practice it beforehand. Say your name and phone number – twice – to ensure they know who it is!
• Update It: Don’t let them reach a disconnected phone number! Make sure all of your contact details are consistently kept current. If you recently got a new email account because of all the spam you were getting, remember to revise it everywhere, including on your resume and email signature.
If you’re not easily and immediately reachable, this may make a hiring manager question other items you may be unable to handle – no matter how small the detail. Always deliver a professional image, and clearly show a potential employer how they can easily reach you – don’t lose out on an opportunity!