… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

Guest Blogger! The HR Maven doesn’t like your cell phone ettiquette.

Class, we have a special guest that’s going to be speaking with us today, The HR Maven! In response to my post earlier today, HR Maven suggested doing a whole post on what not to do with your cell phone while job hunting. I thought it was such a great idea that I asked her to do exactly that. To my amazement, she not only was willing to do so, she got it to me only a few hours later!

So, everything going forward now is all HR Maven, and you know she brings it hard and fast!

What NOT to do with your cell phone.
After Minion’s post, which was brilliant, I got to thinking (and writing) some of the stupid things that people do with their cell phones while looking for a job. At Minion’s urging, I wrote ’em down.

You are SO right. I don’t want to enjoy the music while my party is reached. For one thing, I have darn good taste in music and I am pretty sure that what most people pick will IMMEDIATELY make me think less of them. Instantly. I don’t want to know that you like Whitney Houston or Britney Spears. We aren’t starting well. And if I have to call you back while playing phone tag, this music will just increase my disdain and irritation. And I promise, that won’t go away.

Don’t answer the phone and act surprised. If you put the stupid number on your application and/or resume, DON’T act surprised when I call it. I know cell phones have Caller ID and I know that you don’t know my number. So for a moment, pretend to be professional and say hello – maybe even IDENTIFY YOURSELF. Or better yet….

Don’t answer if you can’t talk. If you are grocery shopping, in the car with friends, at the movies, AT YOUR CURRENT JOB or doing something that prevents you from talking, don’t answer. Most of the cell phones I call have this thing called voice mail. Use it. My pet peeve is the ‘oh, I didn’t recognize the number and I really can’t talk right now.’ I know immediately how high job hunting rates with you, I know exactly what every 6 minutes of my time is worth and guess what – I have Caller ID too and your return call is going to get answered last.

Don’t have your kids who speak unintelligibly record your message. I know you think it’s adorable, the grandparents probably think it’s a riot but it annoys me. If you insist on using your children, give me the option to bypass the message so I don’t have to listen to the drivel. I know this may shock you but I don’t find it the least bit charming.

Resist the urge, unless you are applying for a position that requires you to be bi, tri or multilingual, to answer in another language. I am going to think that I dialed the wrong number, I am going to have to double check and redial the number and when I get that message that I can’t understand, you know that I won’t be happy. That’s another six minutes people.

And lastly, don’t use vulgarity in your voice mail. People think its bad, cutting edge, whatever word means cool these days but I am working here. I hear that garbage in, garbage out and wonder what kind of discretion you have. Or don’t. I find vulgarity to be the right of every person on this planet but I decide when I want it. Not you. I love George Carlin and if I want to hear those words, I can listen to him. But not your voicemail.

Your pet peeves?

Awesome HR Maven, thanks for contributing! Everyone be sure to check out her blog here and share your thoughts in the comments!

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11 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 Ask a Manager :

    Great post! I am continually baffled by how many people don’t think to consider their cell phone message or cell phone behavior when they’re job hunting. I mean, you know you’re job hunting, right? You remember sending off those resumes the other day? It’s like they never connected that with the possibility that a prospective employer might then show up on their phone.

  • 2 Jackbuilt :

    Love this post! The music thing is particularly interesting when it is not music, but a standup comic sketch that includes questionable jokes regarding gender, sex, and race, all of which I was subject to when I recently called a job candidate.

    And not to go off topic, but cellphone etiquette seems to be directly tied to email addresses – ballsack92@ or cowgrlwithherwranglersoff@ is not an appropriate email address when job hunting. Let me guess, you have the Thong Song for me to listen to while I wait to be connected.


  • 3 The Happy Employee :

    Worse than job applicants are co-workers who don’t think about how they represent my/our employer.

    This one guy had “Red, red wine” on his professional cell phone. Great song for partying, but not when you desperately need to reach him because you have a big problem.

    Even worse (still talking about business phones): “You’ve reached the [name of operator] voicemail of number one….. seven….. three…..” and so on.

  • 4 Lisa :

    Great Post!

  • 5 HR Minion :

    Yup, HR Maven did a great job on this. Thanks everyone for your comments! 🙂

  • 6 Mel :

    Me: This is me from XYZ giganto corp calling about your resume. Do you have a few minutes to speak?
    Candidate On Cell Phone: Uhm…uh..yeah
    Me: Are you sure? I hear lots of background noise and I don’t want to take you away from something important. (Patronizing chuckle)
    COCP: You know what actually can I call you back?
    Me: Sure, let me give you my number. It’s 6-4-6…
    COCP: uh, I don’t have a pen.
    Me: Seriously? Have you no shame? We’re done now.

    That last part is what I scream in anger after I end the call. But a gal can dream, can’t she?

    Great post.

  • 7 Lady Geraldine :

    HR Maven, you make some great points! The first things I did before I began sending out my resumes were:

    1. Check my voice mail message, then change it to something professional with my -full name- in the message.

    2. Create an e-mail address dedicated for business/resume use. It is my name at gmail.

    Also, whenever I get a call from a number I don’t recognize, I assume it is a company calling me back. I ALWAYS let it go to voice mail, so that I can take down the HR contact’s name, the company’s information, and which job it was I had applied for. When you’re sending out dozens of resumes, you don’t have all of them at the forefront of your mind.

    So, I take the information down from the voice message, pop onto my PC, and pull up the company’s information to refresh my mind about them and what they do. I then pull up the description of the job I had applied for, and a copy of my resume, THEN I call the contact back. I like to be prepared!

  • 8 HR Minion :

    Mel – Very funny!

    Lady – You have this down! That’s how you do it. You get a cookie.

  • 9 HR Maven :

    Lady Geraldine …. you should LOOK at HR jobs … you would be a natural….

  • 10 Jason :

    I dunno… personally, I love all that stuff.

    I’m a fan of anything I can use to immediately tune a person out for the rest of my life, bonus if it’s entertaining!

  • 11 HR Minion :

    Jason – It is a useful screening tool, I’ll give you that.