Communication 101: What Not to Do


5 Ways To Make Yourself Difficult Or Unpleasant to Reach

Your resume has finally grabbed someone’s attention, now getting that long-awaited phone call or email regarding an interview is par for the course.

For this, you have a dizzying buffet of options to offer – various email addresses and phone numbers with countless ways to receive them. With communication channels being super quick, super linked and super accessible, you should always only be a few phone or computer keystrokes away from your next interview.

But we ponder, “Where’s the fun in that?!?” and would rather explore ways you can play hard-to-get with your potential future employer. Here are five proven ways that have made the chase interesting and lasting – to the point that a recruiter or hiring executive might just give up trying to reach you:

#1 – Don’t list an email address

With electronic recruiting methods rapidly rising to industry norms and email becoming one of the key methods by which business is conducted, failing to list your email address is equivalent to moving into a cave in Tora Bora. HR professionals and hiring executives are busy, so further limit their ability to reach you by omitting your email address from your resume. In case you don’t have an email address to withhold, get one and then don’t share it – there are numerous free email providers out there at your disposal.

#2 – Use a less-than professional email address

To bunny4you@RandomFreeEmail.com and LoveTo@PlayWithFire.com, this one’s inspired by you. Believe it or not, we’ve had “pinksexkitten@ [provider name withheld].com” apply for more than one job. For that client-facing role you sent your resume to, we applaud you for choosing to contact a future employer with an email address that screams “Contact me!” If First-LastName@ Well-known Email Provider.com is too mundane for your taste and you really want someone to pause before contacting you, then by all means go for it.

#3 – Provide your home phone# as your primary or only phone number, when you’re ten times more reachable via your mobile phone

We cannot put enough stress on how much fun we’ve had with this one. The resumes and online profiles you create are your calling cards, and the numbers on those calling cards are always the first place potential employers will look to try to reach you. Why not try something different and hide the fact that you are better reached at a different number. After all, who in their right mind would want to promptly receive communication about a potential interview? If we call and your mom answers the phone, even better!

#4 – Use a less-than professional outgoing voice mail message

Ah, one does not earn all their recruiting stripes until they innocently call someone and get ambushed with an Insane Clown Possy tune at full volume, or are greeted by Uncle Ed, Nan, Jodie-the-next-door-neighbor and Lil’ Ben a-sing-song on the answering machine. During their job search, most will replace these snippets of talent with something far less interesting. You can decide to torture your future employer with these renditions now, or after you’re hired. If an interview with the company you applied to is not your desired result, then we vote for the torture to happen now.

#5 – Answer your phone as if it can’t possibly be a potential employer on the line – and be consistent!

This is where “Yo!” or “WHAT?!” is really effective. The party begins when you start backpedaling from such a greeting, and discouraging this would be a crime. Getting caught off-guard once can be charming and very human, but discharging an unwelcoming grunt of words each time someone calls you makes you certifiably unpleasant to reach.


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