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Three Sure-Fire Methods of Scaring Off Potential Employers

What to avoid if you want to land a job

by Roxanne Ravenel JobSearchCoach  |  2503 views  |  2 comments  |        Rate this now! 

You put together the perfect resume and emailed copies to five or 10 of your target companies. That was several weeks ago and you haven’t heard a thing. Why haven’t any of your potential employers called?

Of course, there could be any number of reasons, especially in a highly-competitive job market. However, if you are feeling stalled in your job search, it is a good time to be proactive and take steps to become a Top Job Candidate™. Let’s start with an honest self-check surrounding three ways you can turn off potential employers through the use of technology.

1.) Email addresses that aren’t strictly business. Email is much more than just a method of delivering messages between yourself and potential employers. Your email address can say a lot about who you are. After all, people use their email addresses as an expression of their personalities. They declare their affiliations with political or social groups, express their love of nature or the environment, show their devilish side with a feeling a slight anonymity. All of which is fine, for the most part. However, when it comes to an active job search, less is definitely more -- as in tell potential employers a lot less about your personal life and you’ll get a lot more interest.

Your email address should not include:

• References to body parts.

• Religious or political affiliations.

• Obscenities.

• Slang.

• Street or nicknames.

• Anything that will generally creep out potential employers.

The email address used in your job search should:

• Be professional.

• Include your full name or something close to it.

• Be checked regularly.

Recruiters and potential employers see the use of inappropriate email addresses every single day. It brings the job candidate’s judgment into question; offends potential employers or recruiters; and subjects the candidate to potential bias – intentionally or not.

2.) Hitting a sour note with ringtones and ringback tones. Cell phone technology allows users to show our individual style, personality, and flair. From customized ring tones to ringback tones. The ringback tone is what you hear when you call someone. Traditionally, it is a simple ring. But, thanks to recent technology, cell phone users can select a ringback that suits their personality. Most commonly the selected ringback is a popular song, a quote from a movie or television personality, or a short comedic dialogue.

The use of ringbacks can be precarious for job seekers. Potential employers and recruiters can be turned off, shocked, or offended by ringbacks featuring edgy, controversial music or objectionable comedy routines. Even ringbacks that you might consider safe -- orchestral music, standard classics, or inspirational music -- could be a turn off for some.

Don’t take a chance on jeopardizing your chance of landing your dream job. Forego cutesy or edgy ringbacks and stick to the traditional ring, at least during an active job search. You can always go back to your favorite tones after you’ve secured your new dream job.

About the Author

Roxanne Ravenel is a Job Search Coach, the author of The Savvy Jobseeker's Guide & Workbook: Five Steps to a Simply Successful Job Search and the host of The Savvy Jobseeker. She teaches job seekers to become improve their resumes, strengthen their interviewing skills, and implement a customized self-marketing plan. Visit to learn more. Copyright © 2008 Roxanne Ravenel

Read more by Roxanne Ravenel JobSearchCoach

2 comments so far...

  • Excellent point, Phinellie! Job seekers must realize that their work email addresses are not private. Their employers have the right to access them at any time.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Roxanne Ravenel JobSearchCoach on 19th May 2008

  • Hi. Great article. I have one point to add regarding email addresses. Do not use the email address provided to you by your current employer. This could 1) land you in hot water with your current employer should the employer monitor email activity, and 2) turn off potential employers because you might do the same thing at their businesses sometime in the future. With the wealth of free email accounts available and free access at libraries, there is no reason to use the employer-provided address.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 19th May 2008