Nothing says, “I can’t navigate my technology professionally” or “I don’t care about my professional presence” faster than falling into these top three traps that can catch even the savviest technophiles. Though the media keep telling us that everything we post online is available to recruiters, every email we send makes a statement and our voicemail says something about us, I can’t believe how many people I see that regularly make these gaffes.

  1. Sending emails from your smartphone that don’t have a proper signature. Signing off ‘sent from my iPhone’ isn’t exactly the impression you want to leave with your readers. Setting up your signature properly gives the emails you send from the road the same level of professionalism as the ones from your office. Moreover, if someone you’re corresponding with needs to get in touch, it’s much faster for them to do so if your contact information is in your digital signature. Be professional and courteous and set up your signature.
  2. Using blurry or outdated photos for your digital profile. In this day and age where even the most basic Instagrammers can take amazing photos with their phones, there is no excuse for uploading a low quality or outdated photo to any of your digital channels. Make sure your pictures look like you, are clear and good quality and professionally posed or cropped. No silly selfies allowed. It doesn’t cost you a lot to hire a professional either – there are many great headshot photographers out there – and it could cost you a ton if you keep using that terrible, outdated pic.
  3. Not recording a professional outgoing message on your voicemail. Not everyone is a voice-over artist with a gift for sound recording, but it doesn’t take much to record a basic message such as “Hello, you’ve reached (your name) at (your number). I’m sorry I’ve missed your call. Please leave a message after the tone and I’ll return your call as soon as I can.” Not, “At my earliest convenience”, which implies you’ll get back to them whenever you feel like it or simply “Leave it at the tone” or “You know what to do”. Taking that extra few minutes to ensure callers don’t get the canned message telling them the user at the number is unavailable (and can’t be bothered to record a personal greeting) ensures you’ll leave your callers feeling more valued than vexed.

These tips seem like common sense, but start listening and looking and you’ll quickly see how many people just don’t bother. Notice how you feel about their level of professionalism and do your best to stand out from the crowd by taking the extra time to make sure your digital messages are professional and polished, every day.