Sadly, many forget this and wonder why no one will hire them or network with them (even if they do have great skills and a competitive job application!)
First impressions are made when someone comes in contact with you for the first time. This can be face-to-face, via phone, online, or in writing.
Here are some key tips for each of these communication methods that will ensure you are seen as a professional: –
- ALWAYS answer the phone with your name. Just saying ‘hello’ is very unprofessional.
- Smile while speaking on the phone and sit or stand upright. When you smile and have good posture, your voice will sound friendly and confident.
- When sending job applications, ALWAYS provide a brief summary of why you are applying within your email. Give the reader a reason to open your attachments. Treat this as a shortened version of your cover letter stating the key strengths you offer that directly relate to the job and how this may benefit the company.
- Emails should be formal with “Good morning” or “Good afternoon” or “Dear”. “Hi” is inappropriate for job applications. When in doubt, use formal salutations and language rather than casual.
- When inviting someone to connect with you on LinkedIn ALWAYS personalise the message. Tell them why you would like to connect. For example, have they shared information on a discussion group? Have you noticed their expertise in a particular industry and seek their wisdom? Perhaps you share an interest and would like to offer help or information to them? Consider quality of networks rather than just quantity.
- A brief and firm handshake is preferred in Australia when meeting other professionals, especially if meeting for the first time. This is done by both genders.
- Smile. The people you meet may not remember your name, however they will often remember a genuine and friendly smile.
- Have a simple business card. This is a quick and professional way to provide someone with your details. Include your LinkedIn profile address so they can connect and find out more about you.
- Study Australian English spelling, grammar and sentence structure. There is plenty of free information online for this. Australian libraries may also have high school English grammar text books that you can borrow.
- Be concise. Be considerate of the reader’s time and try to use fewer words to convey the same message.
- Use a Dictionary and Thesaurus. Learn and use new words regularly.
- When you write an email or document, read it out loud. This helps you find errors and identify areas where you need to be more concise.
- Have your documents proof-read by a professional.
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