The recent report of an executive recruiter in the UK being fired for e-mailing a job candidate to go away using colourful language – but accidentally copying everyone (all 4,000+ of them!) on the candidates blast list, highlights the dangers of damaging your personal brand and career by relying too much on technology. What is that recruiter going to say when the question comes up "Why did you leave your last job?"
The candidate also was obviously damaging their brand (and job search chances) by sending out such a generic application to so many people. I am seeing far too much of that at the moment. I get you that finding a job is tough, but use time wisely to be more targetted, not spray and pray job seeking that says I don't really care.
Just last week, I was talking with both a colleague on the very subject of e-mail versus picking up this still very useful piece of technology called the telephone and also coaching a client on the dangers of mis-understood communication, when a quuick conversation would have eliminated all the angst that they ended up experiencing.
All the 'gurus' are telling us that 2012 is going to be the year of mobile, but with that will come an even greater temptation to say it in text versus verbally.
Some quick tips to keep your conversations live and real in 2012;
1. Resist the temptation to respond to an e-mail straight away. A client once said to me there is rarely such a thing as an accounting emergency, and the same should apply to your situation.
2. Before you pen an e-mail or a reply, consider if this form of communication is the best way to get your message across? If it is, be sure to re-read it once and double check the to, cc and bcc box recipients.
3. When in doubt pick up the phone or arrange a face to face. So much can be mis-interpreted by the written word, if it's important let the other person know that by having a conversation.
4. Make time for 15 minutes every day. We are all guilty (me included) of not connecting properly with people because we feel that we have no time. Stop the Facebook likes, Twitter re-tweets and Four Square check-in's and use that 15 minutes a day to pick up the phone to three people you know and say hello.
As my colleague Dave Howlett said, "I am much more likely to remember you for that call than a tweet, like, poke or follow".