It’s not your experience, it’s your ringback tone…

……….Imagine you have to make over 50 phone calls today, calling applicants to try and schedule an interview.  Most people don’t pick up, so you have to leave a voicemail.  You’re sitting there, halfway through the pile that feels like it will never end, and now… you have to listen to 3 minutes of reggaeton with the same bass thuds of every reggaeton song you’ve ever heard.  Ringback tones!  Now in a bad mood, you still leave a message instead of just hanging up like you want to.  Then you call the next applicant.  No answer.  Howling songs of how “my woman/dog/goldfish” took off and other country music standards that just… aren’t anything similar to what you would choose to listen to.  That’s it.  Missing a standard ring, you just hang up, choosing this as a simple screening method…………..


In previous positions, I had to contact hundreds of people at least once monthly.  Overall, I listened to a lot of reggaeton and country.  Even classical music grew irritating, and I know I sound absurd right now, but if there is one thing that is a simple fix in a job search, it is not spending money on a ringback tone.  What you enjoy may not be what a hiring manager enjoys, and it’s best to keep it professional.

…This is all coming from the girl that had a sketch from the Jerky Boys as her voicemail message until a hiring manager told me he thought it was, “Hilarious, but wildly inappropriate if giving my number out to employers.”  Ooops.  When do we really ever call our own voicemail?  I don’t think I even remembered I had that message set up, but needless to say, I changed it as soon as I left.

Let’s ditch the ringback tones and silly voicemails.  Keep it simple, and there’s no chance you’ll get screened out for this reason alone.

Email Addresses are also a cause for concern.  I grew up with thinking the internet was a place I could download and print out coloring books in elementary school.  I’ve been using it since I was a kid, which also means I have had more email addresses I can count.  “heyugoonies” was one that stuck around for years.  I liked the Goonies, so why not?  “SlurringElvis” was another, which I think I have MSN random-generators to thank.  But when I began to seriously job search, I knew these email addresses were embarrassing.  I told employers I didn’t have one.  I felt like it was better to lie as opposed to being remembered as “heyugoonies.”  Ugh.  When I got home, I quickly made a simple one based on my real name, and updated all applications.

If you have a common name, you may have to get creative or add “jobs” to the end of the username, or use your initials instead of full first or last name.  Personal email addresses can be anything your heart desires, but create a new account for job search.  The benefits of this are two fold; you have a professional email address that doesn’t raise any red flags, and any invitations from employers won’t be hidden from all the cat forwards Aunt Jo sends you.

I’m not spam, I’m fabulous.

Don’t let these easy changes hold you back from your next great opportunity!


About ericatew

Erica Tew is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and career advisor who creates workshops and programs for CT Job Seekers. She is a manager of CT Jobs Chat, a LinkedIn networking group for job seekers, recruiters, and career counselors. Follow her on twitter @ericatew .

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