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Career Coach

Cell Phone Etiquette for the Job Search

Published February 10, 2011 12:50 PM by Renee Dahring
Can we talk? Periodically I get on my soapbox about cell phones. Now, I don’t have a problem with cell phones; I would be lost without mine. What I do have a problem with is when people list a cell phone numbers on their job application and/or resume before thoroughly thinking through the implications.

For example, I was shopping at my local discount store a few days ago and noticed a young man just ending a call on his cell phone. Just as he hung up, he turned to the woman with him and grumbled “can you believe that? They called me about a job while I'm shopping at Target!”  He seemed quite indignant that the employer had the nerve to actually call the number HE apparently must have given them. Outrageous! He was quite proud of how he put them in their place about it too.

This started me thinking about all the “adventures” I have had over the years when calling NP and PA applicants on their cell phones. I endured everything from noisy backgrounds, screaming children, poor reception and dropped calls.

Here is the bottom line: if you list a number, then be prepared for a potential employer to call that number. I understand that some of you don’t have a landline and must list a cell number but my rant suggestions still apply to you. If your cell phone rings and it’s not a good time to talk then let the call go to your voicemail. Potential employers would rather you return the call promptly rather than listening to you decide between paper or plastic or be subjected to your signal fading in and out.  

If you still have a home phone line you should think long and hard about listing your cell as a second contact number. I have actually had candidates scold me for calling them on the mobile phone number - the number they included on their application!

Fair warning - if you give me your cell number on your application then my assumption is that it’s OK for me to call your cell number. ‘Nuff said.  

Questions, suggestions or comments? Email rdahring@gmail.com

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2 comments

Wow, that’s a really cleevr way of thinking about it!

Avari Avari, ZnZDjmdIVmT - CHTyPOSjTjxAfl, HfMkWUbHZgOr June 29, 2011 1:56 PM
HYdUJkvfb AE

After reading your career coach editorial, I thought I'd share a recent experience. I wrote to a potential employer based in New Hampshire a few months ago, and if they responded to my inquiry at all, I expected that it would be via email. If they called, all the better. Also, pertinent information includes the fact that my only phone is my cell phone. In any case, the very next day, I received a phone call from a 603 area code (New Hampshire)

Jason, Medicine - Student February 15, 2011 1:08 PM
Salt Lake City UT

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    Occupation: Nurse Practitioners and NP Recruiters
    Setting: correctional healthcare/career consulting/teaching
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