What do your contact points say about you?

When I was young and played cricket on a regular basis, I hated when I ran myself out, as I had effectively given away my wicket to the opposition free of charge. If I had not done something stupid, I would still be in bat and adding to my score. Likewise, so many people "run themselves out" in the job hunt, before they even come in to bat.

Recently I presented to a group of recruiters, and talk turned to how poorly many candidates brand themselves at prime employer contact points. From terrible email addresses to shocking voicemail messages, each mistake piles up to leave a trail of unprofessionalism that does not set them up for success in the candidate screening process.

Email addresses that (don't) rock


As MD of CV.CO.NZ, I come across people who tell me they are having problems finding a new role because no one responds to their emails. Chatting with them, I try to figure out whether they have the relevant skills and experience, and am sometimes amazed no employer has snapped them up. That is, until I get a copy of their CV and see their email address.

Real life examples of terrible email addresses that have come across my desk include one-nightstand@, imasexybeast@, badboyrulz@, loveisworsethandeath@ and life-is-a-nightmare@. The Herald's public decency guidelines limit me from putting far worse ones in this column.

Unsurprisingly, recruiters do not want to proceed further when their candidate's email address is offensive, racist, sexist or just plain crazy.

Abysmal Voicemail Messages

Time and again, I would screen a candidates' CVs and think "this person is great -- let's get them in for an interview." Unfortunately, when it comes time to make contact, I am greeted by an abysmal voicemail message that says something along the lines of "Hi it's [insert name] here. I'm drunk at the moment, so leave a message and I'll get back to you when I sober up."

Though this message may by funny when you are at university, the joke suddenly turns against you when graduate recruiters start hanging up and not leaving messages.

My recruiter friends shared that almost every day they would discount potentially suitable candidates because their "employer touchpoints" were so poor. No recruiter wants to put forward to their client, a candidate who has the email address deathninja@. (Yes it's a real one).

Your Brand


Voicemail and email addresses are a key part of your employer marketing, and recruiters, human resource managers and employers in general, tend to have a low level of tolerance for poor candidate branding.

If you are about to start job hunting, I strongly encourage you to check your voicemail and email address, ensuring they represent you well when recruiters start to call. Making sure your prime employer contact points are professional, will ensure you do not "run yourself out" at the start of your job search.

Contact Tom for a free Linkedin or CV review, or to be your personal career coach. Visit www.CareerCoach.nz or www.CV.co.nz to find out more.