Eight Technology Etiquette Tips for Job-Seekers
Job seekers — especially the young and tech-savvy — frequently misuse electronic gadgets and the Web and run roughshod over professional etiquette
If there’s any small solace when starting a job search in this recession, it’s the proliferation of digital technology to help you re-enter the working world.
Web sites like Indeed.com have multiplied the number of job openings you can track and the professional contacts you can make. E-mail and smart phones make it easier to pitch yourself and set up appointments.
But think twice before picking up that BlackBerry and thumb-typing a message to the hiring manager whose e-mail address you so slyly uncovered online. In the end, landing the right job hinges on old-world skills.
“The electronic piece usually just gets your foot in the door,” said Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology, a tech industry recruiting division of Menlo Park, Calif.-based staffing consultant Robert Half International.
“But you still have to present yourself well face-to-face in an interview, and you have to have good references,” he said. “I think some job candidates lose sight of that because of all the technology options and capabilities that get your name out there.”
Willmer and Kate Wendleton, president of The Five O’Clock Club, a New York-based career counseling company, advise that job seekers — especially the young and tech-savvy — frequently misuse electronic gadgets and the Web and run roughshod over professional etiquette.
Some of their advice:
1. AVOID E-MAIL BLASTS
Resist the temptation to respond to each online job listing in your field, and focus on those that fit the best. Only about 6 percent of jobs are filled by candidates recruited through advertisements, said Wendleton, whose firm also conducts career research. If you can use personal contacts to learn about an opening that’s not widely publicized, your chances of landing the job increase because you’ve got fewer rivals.
Instead of blast e-mailing, use the Web to research potential employers and put yourself in position to recite key facts about that company should you land an interview.
“Too many people are sitting there all day hitting that send button on their computer, answering ads, answering ads,” Wendleton said.
2. EMBRACE SNAIL MAIL
In your first contact with a prospective employer, you’re unlikely to stand out if you join the legions of job seekers sending ‘hire me’ pitches via e-mail with resumes attached. E-mails also are too easy for a hiring manager to delete. With snail mail, you control the appearance of your carefully crafted cover letter and resume. With e-mail, the user’s machine can control settings for fonts and spacing. And managers can be wary of opening attached resumes for fear of unleashing a computer virus.
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