Career Tips: Is your phone sending the right message?


When looking for a career, it’s important to remember that professionalism goes beyond your resume and the interview room. One important area many forget during the hiring process is the level of professionalism you present to future employers with your phone. This small detail could be giving employers the wrong message before you even answer.

So what does your phone say about you? When looking for a career it is vital to represent yourself professionally at all times. An employer begins their assessment of you the second they receive the resume. A career could be lost if your resume says “hard working individual who displays great professionalism,” and your ring back tone or voicemail displays inappropriate songs, words or behavior. Who you are when your phone rings is important! Here are some tips to make sure your phone is giving employers the right message.

  • First ask yourself these questions: Is the ring back tone appropriate? Is the voicemail message appropriate? Do you sound enthusiastic and energized? If the answer is no you may need to make some changes.
  • Your ringtone could be important as well. If you are sitting in an interview and your phone rings, what comes out of your phone says a lot about you. The best way to ensure your ringtone doesn’t ruin anything for you is to be sure your phone is silenced—even a phone on vibrate could prove to be a distraction and send the wrong message during an interview.
  • Ensure you get the interview by being professional with your phone and returning missed calls promptly. Also remember to put the phone number you are most likely to be near on your resume. Potential employers will be calling and if there isn’t an immediate answer, they may not leave a message or call back.
  • Make sure your phone is always working, a disconnected phone could lose your spot in line.
  • Employers are looking for ways to narrow down their candidates. The best way to get a career is to not give them a reason to dismiss you. Instead give them a reason to hire you! Show them you are confident and professional inside and out.

This Career Tip was contributed by Kristin Marthaler, Regional Career Services Director for NAU’s east region. For more information about Career Services, contact your NAU location.

Published February 2013


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