Job searching in a mobile world
Susan Ricker, CareerBuilder Writer
Forgot to turn the lights off after you left your house? Your phone can turn them off for you. Want to deposit a check into your bank account? Your phone can take care of that. Interested in capturing videos and pictures of your family vacation? Your phone can email the album to your family and friends.
Today, cellphones are capable of so much more than making a call. They can even help your job search. Checking out jobs using a mobile application, emailing potential employers, killing time on your phone while waiting to begin an interview, conducting an interview on your cellphone -- these are just a few of the ways cellphones have become integrated into a job search.
From searching to interviewing to following up, here's a guide to job-search cellphone etiquette.
Searching for a job
Job-related mobile apps are great resources to use when you're short on time. However, before sending your job application materials to a prospective company, be sure that you've done your research. Learn about the company and the open position so that your cover letter and other application materials are relevant. It may be tempting to send a résumé for every open position you find, but being choosy can be more beneficial and productive.
When you contact hiring managers using a mobile app or emailing from your phone, you still need to be formal and professional. You aren't texting friends, so proper grammar and spelling and complete sentences are required. Also, consider removing any automated signatures your smartphone adds to your email, such as "sent from my mobile phone." This doesn't add anything to the note and may come across as though you sent the message in a hurry.
Interviewing for the position
When you get contacted for an interview, consider your cellphone's role in the process. If you've listed your cellphone number as your main contact number, be aware of your surroundings when you answer any potential business calls. If you're out with friends, go to a quiet area to take the call, or return the call in a timely fashion when you can speak privately. It's not OK to text a response to the hiring manager.
If a hiring manager requests a phone interview, consider whether using a cellphone is the best choice. Will you have strong enough service where you plan to take the call? Does your phone have a history of dropping calls? If you deem your phone reliable, choose a distraction-free location so you can focus on acing the interview.
If you're invited to an in-person interview, use your cellphone as much as you like before you arrive. However, once you check in and are awaiting the meeting, keep the cellphone out of sight. Put it away so you can focus on the interview instead of getting distracted by a friend's text message or an intense game. If you have to use it while you're waiting, make sure to turn it off or keep it on silent once you get called in for the interview.
Within 24-48 hours after your interview, email or mail a thank-you note that recaps conversation highlights and expresses your continued interest in the position. While it may be tempting to shoot off an email from your phone as soon as the interview ends, it may be best to wait until you get home. That way, you can send the response that night or the next day so you stay fresh in the hiring manager's mind.
As cellphones continue improving and becoming more crucial to everyday life, remember that professionalism and good judgment are key to making a good impression on employers. That goes for every part of the job search.
Susan Ricker is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com and its job blog, The Work Buzz. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.