Non-Social Social … the New Norm?

My son-in-law and I were spending some time bonding on Saturday, interacting together while simultaneously checking our crackberries. Our society is quickly moving towards being non-socially social. Have you noticed how many people walk around with a beetle attached to their ear talking into thin air, but not to the person(s) walking with them? 

I love my blackberry and there is no question that it feeds my addiction to immediate gratification and information, but for the job seeker (executive or otherwise) … blackberries and iPhones can be the kiss of death.

The lure of casual …

Like texting, emails and messenger discussions sent thru a phone can lull you into the false belief that because it is a “phone” message, it can be casual with little or no regard to professionalism, courtesy, or spelling and grammar. Don’t get caught in the “casual” trap. The job search process is still very much a formal process for executives.

If you believe you are THAT important …

that you can’t turn off your phone during an interview, you might be living in a fantasy world. There is a time and a place for checking your messages; however prior to, during, and immediately following an interview are NOT the times nor the places. If you want to beat out the competition, there are much better uses of your time during these critical moments. The time to turn off your phone is before you leave your house or office to head to an interview; and keep it in the car, with the off button properly engaged, until after you’ve decompressed from the interview.

There’s an OFF button for a reason …

So it can be used. Not vibrate, not quiet … OFF! And, as noted above, preferably left in your car. Getting distracted mid-sentence by an incoming call or message reflects poorly on your professionalism. If your focus isn’t on winning the interview in anticipation of scoring a job offer, how will you focus on getting your job done once you’re hired?

This message is from … who?

“Sent from my blackberry” does not constitute a proper signature line. Even on your phone, it’s important to include your full name, contact information, and personal branding statement.

And please, don’t forget to remove the beetle from your ear!

It IS More Than Just Semantics!

If you have to qualify a statement with the word, “technically,” then, at least in a job search, you have probably crossed the line.

Mark Haluska, Founder and Executive Director of Real Time Network talks about a candidate who repeatedly answered “yes” to the question, “Are you employed.” When it got down to offer time, the background check revealed he had actually resigned 3 weeks earlier. When asked about this discrepancy, the candidate said “technically” he was still employed because he still had vacation time left. 

The moral of this story … The truth will always come out. When it does, it will burn you … because, it really is much more than just semantics. If you can't be honest upfront, employers worry what else might get fudged down the pike.

Booked Solid Interviews

I’m currently reading Michael Port’s “Book Yourself Solid” book and wanted to share this excerpt with you from Chapter 7, Core Self–Promotion Strategies.

“Do offer something of value when first meeting someone, whenever possible. Offer praise, compassion, or a connection. When you can say, ‘I know someone you’ve got to meet,’ or ‘There’s a great book I think may offer the solution to your problem,’ he is going to see you very differently from the person who shoved a business card in his face.”

So I am … highly recommending Michael’s book to you, the job seeker. While the target audience is, obviously, entrepreneurs, there is a wealth of great information for job seekers as well. Like Michael’s “who and do what statements” in place of boring elevator speeches, his list of Do’s and Don’ts at Networking Events, and his advice on identifying target markets.

And perhaps if Michael stumbles across this blog post, he’ll consider collaborating with me on a future book called “Booked Solid Interviews.”