DEAR ABBY: I am a small-business owner who does the hiring for my company. I hope you will share some suggestions for young people who are now applying for postgraduate jobs.
(1) Every contact with a prospective employer is a mini-interview. Present yourself appropriately. I have received many inappropriate e-mails. Example: "Hey, when would this gig start?" Please remember to use a salutation and communicate politely and clearly.
(2) Many companies post a great deal of information about job openings on their Web sites. Read the site carefully before calling so I won't waste time answering questions you could have answered on your own.
(3) Shortcuts may be cute when text-messaging your friends, but in business they are annoying and unprofessional. Avoid messages such as "Thnx 4 ur help. Talk 2 u later!"
(4) Because I must read your resume and application, please proofread it for spelling, grammar and typos.
(5) Many Internet sites now offer free e-mail. Set up an account using your name or initial so I don't have to e-mail "hotchick99" with an offer to teach young children.
(6) If you have a phone interview, please find a quiet place from which to place the call. It is difficult to understand you above your roommate who is cursing over a video game.
(7) Never, ever tell a prospective employer you are waiting to hear about a job you want more, that pays more or gives you more "fun" time. Simply say you are "exploring all your options," and I will understand.
By the way, Abby, I am not an old fuddy-duddy. I am a 26-year-old professional who expects more from my peers than I have seen. -- EXASPERATED RECRUITER IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR EXASPERATED RECRUITER: Your suggestions are excellent. I am sure they will be appreciated not only by first-time job applicants, but also their prospective employers.