As I’ve said previously, communicating with employers can be a lot like dating. That first impression is crucial. And if you don’t make an immediate positive impact, you will probably get dumped.
If you make a bad impression on an employer calling to set up an interview, they could change their minds and not consider you for the job.
Employers start to pay attention to your professional image and communication skills the moment they first see your resume, receive your first e-mail or online communication or first talk to you on the phone. Because they will be working with the new employee every day, employers will pass up a candidate with a bad attitude, no matter how good his/her skills are.
Tips For Making The Right First Impression
- Have a positive attitude (Shows you are pleasant to have around the office; can handle stress well).
- Be willing to engage in friendly conversations
- Don’t make too many negative comments
- Smile, be willing to laugh when appropriate
- Be easy going and easy to get along with
- Mind your phone etiquette (Shows you will communicate with clients/coworkers in a professional manner).
- Have a simple, easy to understand, professional-sounding outgoing message on your voicemail
- Don’t allow roommates or family members to yell for you to come to the phone
- Treat each caller as if he/she is offering you $1 million
- Use a friendly tone of voice
- Seem interested in what the other person has to say
- Ask questions, make sure you get accurate follow up information
- Treat people with respect (Shows that you will interact with clients and coworkers well).
- Return phone calls/e-mails promptly
- Respond to requests quickly
- Complete tasks when you said you would
- Stay in contact, keep lines of communication open
- Treat people with the same courtesy that you expect in return
- Pay attention to your e-mail etiquette (Shows your communication skills and attention to detail).
- Send e-mails in the manner the employer requests them — don’t send attachments if they say not to, address the subject header as they request
- Use proper grammar and spelling
- Don’t use online slag and abbreviations (LOL, IMHO. etc.)
- Don’t use flamboyant font colors, styles or graphics
- Keep track of what was said in e-mails and who sent them
Always put yourself in the employers’ shoes: Would you want to work with someone who had an attitude or manners like yours? Would you be willing to offer a job to someone with your phone and communication skills?
With dozens of people applying for the same jobs, why not have your professional image and communication skills put you ahead of the rest?