Nowadays, most people seem to use their phones for texting, playing games or listening to music. The idea of actually picking up a telephone to make a call seems downright antiquated! Yet phones still play a crucial role in society, and if you’re searching for a new job, proper etiquette can make the difference between a dream career and an outright rejection.
Your natural inclination might be to reject an incoming call from a number you don’t recognize, or—perhaps even worse—answer it when you’re distracted or in the middle of something else pressing. To prevent being caught off guard and projecting the wrong image, take steps to ensure you know when an incoming call signifies you’ll need to be on your best (that is, most professional) behavior.
If you’re serious about job-hunting, consider adding a second number to your smartphone or landline. Most cell providers offer options for multiple lines, and you can assign a distinctive ringtone to each. That way, you’ll be prepared when you receive a call on the line that you have dedicated to your career management. And you can record a professional voicemail message in the event you are unavailable to take the call (e.g., if your kids are fighting, the dog is barking, or you’re in the middle of cooking dinner). That way, you can return the call using your professional voice at a more convenient time. Be sure this is the number you include on your resume, LinkedIn profile, business cards, and other networking collateral.
With the pandemic affecting so many jobs, you may be looking at side gigs to generate income. Working from home is so common now, freelance jobs are a natural fit for many. Your second line will come in handy for these, too: it will allow you to make and return calls from prospective clients.
If you do end up with a second gig, you might also consider creating a separate LinkedIn page for that job. A LinkedIn profile can function as a simple website for your new venture and, along with a dedicated phone line, provides you with two important puzzle pieces for your business.
Employ this simple, inexpensive tactic, and you’ll never be caught off guard again!