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Saturday, March 04, 2006
Work Email is Not Private
I am amazed at the number of resumes we receive for review that either have the job seeker’s work email listed on the resume itself, or have been sent to us from the job seeker’s work email account. I always cringe because I know the job seeker has unknowingly set him- or herself up for potential disaster with the current employer by sending that email.

All employers monitor email. They are not necessarily snooping to see what you are doing or saying on your company email but rather they are making sure they are not being opened up for potential charges or litigation due to the actions of their employees. Most job seekers who are not technically astute do not realize that copies of their email messages are retained on the company servers and those copies are usually downloaded and stored for future reference if needed. Additionally, emails are randomly monitored by the technical staff to watch for potential legal exposure or misuse of company resources.

When you use your company email on your resume or use it to send out any material or messages related to job search, you are automatically opening yourself to a potential termination for misuse of company resources or for conducting personal business on company time. You may also be providing a reason for the employer to withhold a severance package if you conduct job search activities from work prior to an upcoming layoff. When you are at work, you are there to work, not look for other work.

Many say, “My employer doesn’t care.” That may be so, but your potentially new employer probably does. When a hiring manager sees an email on a resume that is obviously the candidate’s work email, he/she automatically experiences a mental check against that candidate. Think about the impression that using your work email makes with a new employer. The new employer sees that you have no compunction in using company resources to look for new employment, that you use compensated time to conduct personal business, and that you are not savvy enough to know you are messing up in the first place. He is correct in thinking that if hired, you would take advantage of your new employer in the same manner.

Most employers will initiate contact with you after receiving your resume in one of two ways – by telephone or by email. A hiring manager with a direct competitor of your current employer might be very hesitant to email you at work. He knows the emails are monitored and does not want the competition to know someone with the company is communicating with you.

The same principle is applicable to work telephone numbers. A potential employer will generally NOT call you at work. It is best to list a cell number and a home number. You may even want to consider setting up a computerized voice mail box number just for job search purposes in order to be assured of not missing any calls.

Play it safe and be ethical at the same time. Use a private email for your resume and job search efforts. Use your personal cell or home phone for telephone contact. Don’t give potential employers the impression that you are unethical – it’s not a good image to portray.

November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 /


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