One of the easiest things to do at the start of your job search is to sign up for a new telephone number. Your don’t have to abandon your old one, of course, but there’re good reasons to consider getting a new, clean phone number that doesn’t come with any of the baggage of your current one.
1. Local Area Code
One of the biggest advantages of getting a new number is that you can get one with an area code that’s local to your target market. A local area code also reinforces your ties to the area. And because recruiters and employers sometimes use area code to eliminate non-local job applicants, getting a local number can get you past such a screen.
2. Internet Trail
If you’ve been using your telephone number for a long time, you may have left a trail throughout the internet that’s just waiting for a potential employer to discover it. Take a moment to think about it.
Did you use the same telephone number on Craig’s List years ago? To register for social media? Posted it anywhere? If you have, thorough searches using your telephone number may reveal a lot more about you (or the previous owner of the telephone number!) to a legal recruiter, prospective employer, or your current employer than you realize.
A clean number has no trail to uncover and follow. Before you pay for your new number, search it yourself to be sure the previous owner hasn’t tainted it.
3. Total Control
Having total control of answering calls and the voice mail is critical to your job search and professional image. You don’t want roommates, children, or others answering your phone—especially if they can’t be relied on to do it professionally! You don’t even necessarily want to trust yourself to answer the phone—will you remember to avoid answering the call while driving, or emotional?
Get a number you can send directly to voice mail (which you should record with your target audience—recruiters and employers—in mind), and then respond to calls when you’re able to do so in a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted.
Once you’ve obtained a clean telephone number address, don’t forget to check it every day! You may even be able to arrange call forwarding to reroute the job search telephone number to your existing one.
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