What do you love most about your smartphone? Voice activated messaging? The ability to reach anyone in the world always at your fingertips? Or maybe just the comfort having your phone nearby gives you that you won’t miss out on something important.
Now, what if I told you your smartphone is costing you thousands of dollars in missed opportunities?
Your smartphone wouldn’t look so smart then, would it? You might even go so far as to call the phone stupid and stomp it out in a fit of rage reminiscent of that classic scene in Office Space.
But how could something so good be so wrong?
Let me tell you a quick story
A couple of months ago I did a phone screen for an individual applying for a consulting position. The interview went well, and I told him at the end of the interview that I would follow-up with HR and he would hear back.
After the interview, I get a normal thank you email – short but professional thanking me for my time etc. Two days later I get another email that just has two words of text, “any update?”.
No greeting. No signature. Just “sent from my iPhone”.
That definitely didn’t give me the warm and fuzzies, so I didn’t bother responding.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and I get a call from one of the partners asking if it’s worth fast-tracking this individual to the next available in-person interview because the candidate shared he had other job offers he was considering.
How your smartphone can cost you thousands of dollars
I said no to fast-tracking the interview.
Just like that, a candidate went from high-potential phone screen to someone who might annoy me and even worse, might annoy the clients that pay our bills.
Luckily for him, he still got to come in for an in-person interview and he still got an offer, so this wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but I’m going to let you in on a secret. When you go in negotiating your salary, the person that everyone loves has more leverage, which translates to thousands of dollars.
Oh yeah, and there’s the fact that, depending on the person on the receiving end of this, you might not get an offer at all because you decided to treat your professional email correspondence like a Twitter conversation.
Here’s a “pro tip” for you. Unless the interviewer is actually your friend, don’t assume you all of a sudden have a new BFF because you had a good conversation. Keep your guard fully up at least until you have an offer secured.
Your professional etiquette from the time of first contact through the interview process all impacts your bottom line.
If you know you have a tendency to play it fast and loose when typing on your phone, wait until you get back in front of a computer before sending an email. A loss in the timeliness of your message doesn’t nearly compare to the credibility you lose by sending a half-baked email.
The good news is professional doesn’t mean long-winded. People are busy and don’t have time to read. Address the person by name, use at least one complete sentence, and sign your name and you should be good to go. Such a small effort will help keep your pockets fuller – don’t you think it’s worth it to not have your smartphone make you look foolish?
They say, “the devil is in the details” and this is especially true when you want to go into business for yourself as a consultant. If you think you’re headed down that path and want to learn 10 more quick hitting tips to improving your brand as a consultant, check out the link below to get your free cheat-sheet.