Sunday, May 03, 2009

Job Search Etiquette: Nay to the Word, "Hey!"

The word, "HEY," is an informal way of saying, "HELLO." When you are in the job search process, should you use that word to address your potential employer? Our clients have asked us that question more frequently in this competitive economic climate - particularly in the context of exchanging emails.
Our Answer Remains the Same: Don't Use the Word "Hey"
Always be safe. Address people as Dear Mr. or Mrs. You can't go wrong with that. If your professional setting is much more informal, then use the words, "Hi" or "Hello." But, it depends on the industry. In the young tech world and in the entertainment industry, the rules are more relaxed. To be sure, we asked employers who are on the front lines of the hiring process to tell us their thoughts. Here's what five of them said:
  1. Fifty year old lawyer and former Recruitment Committee Chair: "I am old school so my answer is no way."
  2. Forty-something Recruitment Manager for Professional Services Firm: "Using 'hey' to address an employer is too informal and an immediate turnoff. It leaves me with a bad impression."
  3. Thirty-something New York Casting Director: "I use it all the time, including in my emails to full-time job and summer internship applicants. I went back and looked at my emails after you posed the question and I noticed that most young people responded with a word other than 'hey' even when I used it as a greeting. I am fine with the word but I guess it's more respectful to use 'hi' or 'hello' when you are not in the driver's seat."
  4. Forty-something Medical Practice Administrator: "I absolutely detest when people use that word and I would find it very disrespectful if an applicant sent me an email addressing me with the word, 'hey.'"
  5. Forty-something Human Resources Director for Fortune 100 Business: "Hey is for horses. Don't ever be that informal in the interview process and don't write that in any email or correspondence if you want to work with our company."
  6. Twenty-something Tech Entrepreneur: "Depends on the industry. In tech? Yes, by all means."

For more interview tips and advice, contact Randi Lewis, Founder, Resume Boutique LLC, at 410.602.2500

© 2009 by Resume Boutique LLC. All rights reserved.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this blog. I still remember my immediate reaction when someone addressed me as "hey" through e-mail. I agree, it depends on the industry. You must know your audience. Thanks again.

Laura Brasnan said...

you point a little issue but its much importance in etiquette, sometimes I miss it in my behavior but i hope this will run in my manner.

varsha said...

A good post on "Job Search Etiquette: Nay to the Word, "Hey!"".An important point is a resume and cover letter should be the marketing tools that help candidate to land the position that is perfect for him.


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