Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Job Seekers - Just Step Away From The Crackberry (and iPhone)

The invention of the Blackberry and subsequently, the iPhone, were two of the worst recent inventions for job seekers.

I know all the “mobilly connected” out there are gasping in horror, at the thought of being, even just temporarily disconnected. But Blackberrys and iPhones are bad for your employability.

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How many job seekers out there have gotten a response from a recruiter, HR rep or hiring manager, and were so excited that they responded right away…on their Crackberry?

I’ll bet there are a lot of readers who have made this mistake.

So why is it a mistake? Why is responding on an iPhone or Blackberry so bad?

It sends many different types of bad first impressions. Here’s a few:

  1. Have you ever noticed that when you receive an email from a Blackberry or iPhone, you can usually tell it was sent from a mobile device? Especially if you’ve received the message on a desktop or laptop. It’s not just because it’s been sent with a signature line that says sent from my Blackberry …

    … but because of the typos, misspellings, and the all small case letters that typically come from messages sent on mobile devices.
  2. If you answer right away it makes you look a little desperate as a candidate, giving the impression of a lovestruck 16 year old waiting for the phone to ring.
  3. Answering on your Blackberry or iPhone may cause the hiring manager to wonder if you spend all day texting, tweeting, and Facebooking from your cell phone. You may want to give a different first impression about your productivity as an employee.

But with the advent of instant, mobile, always with you communication, comes the desire to use it. If you get an email back from a company that is interested in you, how many of us have enough self-control to not answer it until we get to lunchtime and can answer from a laptop at Starbucks?

Especially to the most addicted Crackberry addicts or iPhone fans … that email will probably be burning a hole in your pocket until you can return it. Just take a deep breath, stay calm, and answer it when you are on your lunch break. I can guarantee you they haven’t filled the job in the couple hours that you delayed in order to put your best foot forward.

M’aam … just step away from the Blackberry.

This isn’t just limited to text/email communications … it applies to voice also. If you are in a job search, and the primary number you give is your cell, don’t risk getting caught unprepared for an employer call. Screen your calls, or use a service (try Google Voice, it’s free) to screen calls if you can’t resist picking up all incoming calls, even the ones listed as “unknown” by caller ID.

In “5 Tips On Slaying The Phone Interview” (, I go into detail about why you should screen potential employer calls, having conversations on your terms and when you’re ready.

How will you go through iPhone rehab in order to make a better first impression on employers?

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Related Articles:
Why Candidates Should Avoid The Ambush Informational Interview
You Never Get a Third Chance to Make a Second Impression

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