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Articles and Advice

 Using Your Cellular Phone in Your Job Search!

By Joe Stein

The use of cellular phones is quickly eclipsing land lines as the primary verbal communication tool for Americans. Those individuals performing a Job Search are no different than the masses in making this switch.
 
Using your cellular phone in your job search creates tremendous opportunities, but can also produce some challenges. The primary benefit of your cellular phone should be obvious, in that it provides immediate accessibility to you for a Recruiter. If you still use your “landline” as your phone of record, your cellular phone can still be quite beneficial for checking, (from wherever you are) your answering machine at home.
 
How you handle the issue of your cellular phone will be observed by the Recruiter and Hiring Manager. Your use of a cellular phone will provide a snapshot to the prospective employer regarding your oral communication skills and your basic etiquette.
 
The following are some tips to consider when using your cellular phone during your job search:
 
o       Answer Professionally – If you are using the same cellular phone for both personal and your job search, then care needs to be given when answering a call. Typically when you are answering a phone call that is personal in nature, you will be much more casual than when it is business. Don’t take a chance when you are answering your cellular phone during your job search; answer every call professionally. Consider answering by greeting the person and providing your first and last name so the Recruiter knows immediately that they have the right person.
 
o       Check the Voice Mail – Similar in vein to your greeting, if you are not able to immediately answer, the call will enter Voice Mail. Make sure your message isn’t something that is inappropriate for a job search.  Have a Voice Mail greeting that is short in time and clearly states who you are so the Recruiter knows the have the right person.
 
o       Turn It Off – If you are at the location of a prospective employer, then turn your cellular phone off so a disturbance will not occur. I would recommend you do not even carry it with you into the prospective employer’s facility.
 
o       Watch the Ringer – If you accidentally leave your phone on when you are on the site of a prospective employer, you will want to make sure you have a professional ringer. The latest provocative song download is not going to present a professional image to the Hiring Manager.
 
o       Don’t Answer – If your cellular phone rings while you are speaking to a prospective employer…don’t answer it! You never want to interrupt or place a Recruiter on hold to take another call. 
 
o       Don’t Feel Obligated – The immediacy of the cellular phone can be a huge benefit, but also a potential landmine. This is especially true if you are working several leads and do not have total recall of every detail. Don’t feel obligated to answer if you do not recognize the number and would like some additional preparation time.
 
o       Have a Strong Connection – If you are using a cellular phone service that is weak in your area, then consider either switching providers or not relying just on your cellular phone. You do not want to subject your Recruiter to dropped calls or weak connections.
 
o       Give It Your Full Attention – It is important that you are accessible to a Recruiter, but if the timing is bad, then either do not answer or use the call to schedule a better time. If you are in the middle of a noisy grocery store that is probably not the time to have an open position discussion. 
 
o       Don’t Use Your Work Cellular Phone – Never use your assigned work cellular phone for your job search. Your job search should be relegated to your personal phone.
 
o       Step Away – If you do receive a job search related cellular phone call while at work, step away before answering or returning the call. You don’t want to be seen constantly on your personal cellular phone while at work.
 
 
Your cellular phone is a valuable tool that Job Seekers of past generations have not had available. If a cellular phone can be afforded in your budget, it may provide you a competitive advantage compared to those who do not use it to its full advantage.
  
As always, best of luck in your job search.
 
The following has been prepared for the general information of WNY Jobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.