I hope I will not sound like I am in a bad mood or anything, but I have to tell you that the bulk of the messages I get from members need a lot of work to make them appear as proper business correspondence.
I wish I could believe this is only how you write when you are corresponding with your old and best friend Matt, but I fear that this is not the case.
Unless you believe in the Tooth Fairy as strongly as I do, or unless you have a guardian angel, a significant number of the folks getting your messages aren’t getting back to you for reasons that are obvious to me and should be to you as well.
In case it has escaped your notice, most communications that are job search related take place over email at one point or another. If you want to be considered for a job that pays in excess of $100,000, you need to look like someone who is entitled to that level of compensation.
First, let me suggest in the STRONGEST possible terms that you add an outgoing signature to your emails. This includes when you reply and forward. It is easy enough to set up in Outlook under “Signatures.” Whatever email system you use, it DOES have the capability of adding an outgoing signature. This includes iPhones and other smart phones. Now that you know the “key words,” if you don’t know how to do it please go to “Help” and look it up, or call your tech support number. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE. As often as I mention it, 80% of the messages I get from members don’t have it, and it is absolutely ESSENTIAL if you want folks to get back to you.
My outgoing signature is as follows:
Matthew R. Bud
The Financial Executives Networking Group
32 Gray’s Farm Road
Weston, CT 06883
(203) 227-8965 Office Phone
(203) 820-4667 Cell
(203) 227-8984 Fax
Please notice that it has my “Greeting to use” of Matt, my physical address, my email and my phone numbers. I don’t want anyone to have to look me up in their address book. If they want to come visit, or send me a gift, I want to make that easy too. Most importantly, I want them to know what to call me. (Your actual “greeting to use” shouldn’t be a trick question. If you are Edward Livingston but go by Ted, it would be nice if you told me.)
Send yourself an email from the address you use. If the “From” box has anything other than your name, you need to fix it. If it says “Bud Family” or the name of your spouse, or if your name appears in all lower case, it doesn’t look professional. Actually, it looks ridiculous. It says to the world that you don’t actually know how this new fangled technology works. (And, could someone please turn on my computer for me and print off my email before they leave for work?) If you are responsible for your job search, as I assume you are, you need to APPEAR like you are technologically sophisticated. (Even if you aren’t.)
The subject box shouldn’t escape your notice either. Outlook tells you when it isn’t filled in. It is a good place to fill in why you are writing. (Much as I like guessing games, this is not one of the times.) However, it is NOT a perfect substitute for writing something in the body of the email.
The body of the email — another good topic. Is it possible you can string a few sentences together and let me know why you are writing, or do I have to guess? If you have made a mistake in entering my email address, click “Forward,” and take the time to make it look like this is the first time you have written by deleting, OR write me a NEW email.
And, for those of you who are using Earthlink’s spam control program, may I ask you how you know everyone who might write to you? I know spam is annoying, but not letting people write to you unless they are on your approved list is a little silly most of the time. It is especially silly during a job search. I get several a week and rather than “register,” I just delete them. May I suggest that others get a little annoyed when they get them and delete them as well? If you haven’t added me to your approved list so you can get the evening newsletter and my job alerts, is it possible there are other important personages you have forgotten?
Have I mentioned colors? Please lose them from your emails along with fancy fonts such as scripts. I would be the first to admit that I am a “Times Roman” or “Arial” kind of guy, but colors are how I spot in an instant that I have gotten some spam, and spam accounts for almost 75% of the email I get. To find your important messages I have to work quickly and I have more than once deleted messages I should have kept. Again, a name at the top and a proper subject would help, but unfortunately, colors generally mean spam.
Well, this is probably enough whining and complaining for tonight. Listen, all I want is for all of you who are active in your search to find a high paying job. But, if you persist in shooting yourself in the foot by not putting your best foot forward, there isn’t much I can do about it.
I just hope your Tooth Fairy or Guardian Angel is on duty.