Selling You versus Serving You

There is one little trick you should know whenever you are doing career searches using the Internet. The most important thing to remember is never give out your main email address or your home or cell phone numbers online while searching for employment.

Let’s presume you want to attend a local job fair in your area. To register online, you need to provide an email address and a phone number. This is to be expected. How else would the job fair people respond to your registration if you did not provide an email address or a phone number?

The problem is this: When you provide an email address and a phone number, someone very quickly will start using the email address and the phone number to sell you stuff you don’t need nor want. This is a basic truth of online places where you need to give an email address and phone number while you are conducting a career search. It’s all about selling you versus serving you.

Back to that job fair example. You likely will get phone calls from telemarketers who try to sell you educational programs. You may already have a master’s degree, but to the telemarketer, that’s does not matter. All they want to do is sell you stuff.

Job boards online can–and so often do–turn into a simple way for an online business to collect your email address and phone number into a large database. Then begins the everyday process of selling you versus serving you.

While you think you are conducting a career search using online resources, often what happens to you instead is you bring on annoying emails and/or phone calls trying to sell you stuff like resume help or webinars about how to use LinkedIn or enrollment in for-profit online colleges. For most people, all of that is just useless crap that wastes your time and your money. Job sites online typically use all manner of emotional appeals to prey upon the unsuspecting job seeker who may be especially vulnerable. There is no law against this, so you need to be vigilant, if not wary.

One solution for you is available: Never use your main email address or your home or cell phone number when you are requesting online information during your career search. Instead, go to Google and get a free email address from Gmail and then go to Google Voice and get a free local telephone number that allows you automatically to direct all inbound calls to voicemail.

Once you have your Gmail address and your Google Voice phone number, you easily can partition off all those inbound selling you versus serving you emails and phone calls. You simple ignore the inbound email and phone calls that you don’t want to bother with.

If the unthinkable happens, and an actual hiring manager who has an actual job opportunity does email you or call you through Gmail and/or Google Voice, you will have their email address and phone number so you can respond. But, with Gmail and Google Voice, you can retain control over the job search process. Best of all, you will deflect the very annoying practice today in which people looking for employment opportunities are being taken advantage of financially.

In today’s world, where what you post online so often ends up opening you up to unwanted pitches to sell you stuff you don’t need, you can stand out from the rest. You can be smarter than the rest.

If you choose to pay online for career assistance (usually NOT a good idea), just remember always to use Gmail and Google Voice. Many people I know have more than one or two or three email addresses. Having one or two Google Voice phone numbers is not so unusual, either. Remember that there is nothing dishonest about merely having more than one email address or phone number.

Share your comments and suggestions on the subject of your strategic usage of Gmail and Google Voice. I look forward to hearing from you today!

Copyright © 2013, Woody Goulart. All Rights Reserved.

See the growing list of posts in the “Stand Out” series here at Ned’s JOTW website.

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