July 30, 2008
An increasing number of young job hunters communicate too casually about career opportunities, writing e-mails riddled with text-messaging shorthand and decorative symbols, hiring managers say. As The Wall Street Journal reports, other college students and recent graduates are sending hasty and poorly thought-out messages to and from mobile devices, or using social-networking sites to try and befriend interviewers. Such faux pas suggest immaturity and questionable judgment, and can instantly kill a job candidate’s chances, recruiters say.
“That e-mail just ruined it for me,” the paper quotes Tory Johnson, president of the small New York-based recruiting firm Women For Hire, Inc., as saying about a thank-you note she received from an otherwise-qualified college student she had interviewed for an intern position. The note was laced with words like “hiya” and “thanx,” and contained three exclamation points and a smiley-face emoticon.
The trend of brief, informal communications may reflect a cultural divide between younger and older workers, the Journal reports. For workers in their 20s accustomed to online and cell-phone messaging, the abbreviated lingua franca is “just natural for them,” the paper quotes author David Holtzman as saying. “They don’t realize that it’s perceived to be disrespectful.”
But hiring managers at New York accounting firm KPMG aren’t amused by the smiley faces, hearts and other icons that appear in about one of every 10 thank-you e-mails they receive from young job candidates. “It’s not professional,” the Journal quotes Blane Ruschak, the firm’s national director of university relations and recruiting, as saying. Seeing the icons makes KPMG’s hiring managers wonder whether the applicant would continue to use such informal communication in the workplace. — Compiled by Greg Beaubien for Tactics and The Strategist Online