Using, without being, a technological tool.

Without a doubt, technological fluency can boost your credentials and desirablility in the job market. Employers are increasingly looking for people with computer skills, whether they be word processing, programing, spreadsheet/database creation, graphic design, or the myriad of other technological subdivisions in which one can specialize.

However, in the absence of a little attention and plain ol’ common sense, your use of technology can quickly turn around and bite you in the ass.

For example, say you’re in the market for a job, and you’ve just sent out resumes to several enticing prospects. Unfortunately, the day you left your phone at home was the day several potential employers chose to call you, requesting an interview. Luckily, they left messages. Unluckily, rather than hearing a tasteful greeting on your voicemail, their first impression of you was one of the following:

  • “WAZZZUUUUUUUUP!” followed by ten seconds of silence before the beep.
  • Your roommate accompanying you on guitar while you sing your rendition of “Hey hey, we’re the Monkees” with the new lyrics of “We’re spanking our monkeys.”
  • A belch.
  • A ring-back tone, most likely a rapper asking where his bitches be.

Looks like you might have to keep donating plasma to make rent.

Ok, a few weeks later you’ve grown-up-ized your voicemail greeting and sent out a fresh batch of resumes. Somewhere, a hiring manager is looking it over, and thinking to him/herself, “This looks like a promising candidate. I’ll send off an email to see if they can come interview next week.” Their eyes travel up the page to the letterhead, seeking your email address, and they see…..

Email addresses are free, in case you were wondering. There is no excuse to give out a vulgar, immature, or otherwise inappropriate email address to potential employers or collegues. You can keep your funny email address to use with friends, but swing by Gmail and pick out something more mature or professional to use on job applications. Your name, or first initial and last name, or last name plus a number, or something similar makes a professional and easy-to-remember email address. With many email providers, you can even get the mail from all your addresses delivered to one inbox, so you don’t forget to check one of them.

Little details like these can be the difference between looking like a candidate for supervisor, and looking like you need adult supervision.