In today's world of merging technologies it's becoming harder and harder to use applications as they were intended to be used during their conception. In particular, the introduction of instant messaging systems that became popular in the mid to late 90's has blurred the lines of what is considered "proper" communication. Once email providers like AOL, Yahoo, and Microsoft with Hotmail took to the internet space, instant messaging type applications soon made the leap as well.
Good and The Bad
Mind-blowing would be an understatement in describing the technological advances and benefits that stem from our inner desire to have our information as quickly and as accurately as possible. But, there has been consequences for these "technological riches". Unfortunately, our communication has taken a hit when it comes to constructing formal emails and other types of written professional communications. One area that has seen the negative impacts of these advances is the Employment or Human Resources industry.
Have we lost our way?
When it comes to Employment, and emailing recruiters or Hiring Managers, Job Seekers should be mindful of the purpose of the communication, as well as, who they are communicating with. For formal communications such as this, individuals in charge of hiring are noticing some Job Seekers are injecting acronyms used in Instant Messaging and in texting, with a few ellipses to separate thoughts, only to form run-on sentences.
Take a look at this Email excerpt from an exchange from a Job Seeker sending an email to the HR recruiter for a Sales Position Job of which the Job Seeker is interested. Unfortunately, you may need this key to help you as you read the email excerpt:
OMG = Oh My God
BTW = By The Way
LOL = Laugh Out Loud
L8r = Later
Formal Email for Job Interest Example:
I am expressing interest in the Sales Position...This job is ideal for my background, OMG...I would make a great salesperson...BTW I am a people person...but I don't mind working by myself...LOL.
Thank you again for considering me for the Sales Position in your company.
See attached resume.
Does this ring a bell? Does it resemble anything you've seen before? A text maybe? Social Media post to a network of friends? More importantly, does the communication seem appropriate for a Job Seeker expressing interest for a Job position which they are trying to apply?
Absolutely not. We are better than this and can do better.
In the scenario above this individual may have done all the necessary things to prepare for the job of their dreams, but falls short because of the lack of professionalism conveyed in their first email communication.
Employment Tip: With every keystroke on an email, on your cover letter or resume, as a whole, you are conveying to your potential Employer who you are and how much you desire to be chosen for the job available, in hopes of being hired as an employee. If you fail to represent yourself professionally, your chances of being hired decrease drastically. Do not reduce any professional communication of a critical nature to an informal instant message, or text normally sent to a friend or personal associate. Keep it professional to ensure you make it to the next level in the hiring process.
With every level of the Employment process, communication skills are vital to candidate selection. The shorthand instant messaging or texting approach of using acronyms, sentence fragments and run-on sentences has its place, but not in direct formal communications with potentially, your future Employer. Use each communication as an opportunity to demonstrate professionalism, strong communication skills, and sound decision making.