People don't always realize how similar dating and embarking upon a job search are, but if you really think about it; these are two life experiences that both involve a hefty dose of anxiety and the importance of first impressions. That's because hiring managers are just as prone to spot deal breakers and toss your resume aside as any first date may be.
What kind of deal breakers are we talking about? Well, unprofessionalism in any of these three areas could be deeply hindering your job search:
Your Resume: You may have an exemplary 20-year career under your belt and recommendations from every big name in your industry, but if your resume is a chaotic mess - hiring managers aren't even going to notice those details before putting you in the 'no' pile. The organization and presentation of your resume is just as important as the details contained within it. So if you aren't sure what it takes to create a professional resume, hire someone to do this for you - otherwise, you may be wasting your time even just applying for jobs.
Your E-mail: When you were a teenager, creative and funny e-mail addresses were perfectly normal. But once you start searching for a job, it's time to retire your old firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail address. Believe it or not, hiring managers actually do take note of your e-mail when you submit a resume. And typically, this is one area where you want to be bland and standard. So get a new e-mail address ASAP, preferably with some variation of your name included. Sam.Smith1983@gmail.com is the perfect way to go. The good news is, most e-mail accounts are free - meaning you have no excuse not to fix this faux pas immediately.
Your Voicemail: Similarly, your voicemail should reflect that you are a mature professional on a job hunt. That means no heavy metal music playing in the background, no lame jokes and no run-on messages. Keep it short and sweet, "This is Sam Smith. Please leave a message and I'll call you back." If you don't trust yourself to do that, use your phone provider's standard messaging options. That is, unless you want hiring managers to hang up without leaving a message at all when they call.