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Making the Right First Impression

I have spent years working in the HR/ Recruiting industry. I have interviewed white collar and blue collar. From IT professionals to truck drivers, I’ve seen it all. While some of the advice I might give to one group of applicants might be different than the other (just due to how those positions are sourced and the requirements that are sought), some fundamentals remain the same for anyone.

Create an Email Address Suitable for Job seeking
I am sure you have seen this piece of advice before, but it appears not everyone is quite getting the message.
However, if your main email address is too personalized ( or consider creating a new one for the purposes of emailing resumes and replying to job postings.
Something simple like first initial, last name –
It’s wonderful that you enjoy riding your Harley and that your preferred drink is tequila, but unless you are applying for a job as a bartender at a biker bar (for which I still don’t really recommend it) advertising that much personal information via an email address is just not the 1st impression you want to make.

Phone Etiquette

If you make it past the initial review process and are fortunate enough to receive a call, make sure you are prepared.
Again, just as your personal email might be a bit revealing, if you aren’t able to answer the call and the interviewer must leave a voicemail, PLEASE, PLEASE, ensure your voicemail message is acceptable.
“You know what to do. Leave your digits and I’ll hit ya back”, while possibly hip and relevant in your circle, is NOT appropriate for someone who has just now formed an opinion and made a mental note of whether or not they really want to talk to you.
You can still be personable and friendly, while remaining a tad more proper.
Even if you only change it during the time period that you are job hunting, it’s something you need to consider.
“Thanks for calling. I’m sorry I missed you. Please leave a number and I will call you back” is simple and effective.
And, if you truly don’t feel you should have to change your message, you might consider not listing your number as a means of contact. You can put email as your preferred method. However, remember…..if you do this, please refer to the 1st bit of advice, listed above.

Dress the Part
This is another memo that I don’t think all the job seekers have gotten.
If you are lucky enough to get an interview make sure to dress for it appropriately.
When the interview is scheduled, ask what the company dress policy is.
I once interviewed for a job as a manager at a fitness facility.
That’s a tough call to make. Do you dress professionally in a suit or dress, or wear workout attire, since it IS a gym?
Ask the question.
Now, I didn’t expect my truck driving applicants to show up in a suit and tie (and told them as much when I scheduled the interview), however, I didn’t think I had to tell them to wear a belt because I did NOT want to be able to answer the question “boxers or briefs” for them.
When in doubt, over dressing is always better than under dressing.

These might seem somewhat elementary and basic, but I speak from experience when I tell you that there is a whole group of job seekers that has no clue.
If you don’t want to make some recruiters list of “What NOT To Do” please consider the above.

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