Dear Matt: What’s the preferred method of communication in today’s job search — phone, e-mail or text? How much value do employers put on these communication skills?
Matt says: Understanding how to communicate with recruiters and hiring managers is a big issue in today’s job search and workplace.
“Recruiters have experienced many challenges facilitating conversations between the employer and future employee, to the point where some candidates don’t know how to properly and professionally interact with an organization if they are not behind a phone or a computer,” says Dana Meyer, a manager in ManpowerGroup Solutions’ Recruitment Process Outsourcing division.
Some job seekers may not have the level of comfort with e-mail, smartphones and texting that other job seekers may have. Today’s workforce spans multiple generations, and job seekers of all ages — from millennials to baby boomers — need to understand and work within multiple communication mediums, including face-to-face conversations, phone conversations, e-mail, voice mail, instant messengers/chat, social media, video and texting.
“There is a proper time, place and etiquette for all of these forms of communication,” says Meyer, “and though it may be scary, job seekers and employees of any age should push beyond their comfort zone to use new and traditional forms of communication.”
But during the job search and interview process, phone, in-person and e-mail remain the most common forms of communication. Make sure you have a professional voice mail recording that states your full name or phone number.
“Those in the business world still rely heavily on phone communication, and phone conversations are one of the best ways to gauge a candidate’s skills/expertise, personality and cultural fit within the organization,” says Meyer.
While some millennials don’t like or use e-mail, the business world still does — and relies on it heavily. Make sure any e-mail address used is appropriate and professional. For job search purposes, an e-mail address with some variation of your name is best. “You can’t undo first impressions, so don’t let a goofy or inappropriate e-mail address taint how the recruiter may see you,” says Meyer. New grads — if your résumé lists a school address, make sure that you have continued access to this address after graduation.
Respond to any messages left by recruiters the same business day. Don’t assume that your recruiter texts. If the job requirements ask for it, do it; if not, traditional methods of communication work best.
“Having a leg-up on the proper decorum for these mediums can set you apart from your competition who may struggle in these areas,” says Meyer.
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