Sometimes, there is a good time to unplug from your cell phone, internet, and all devices starting with a lowercase i. There are nights I wake up for a couple of seconds, and wind up checking my email or Facebook. Let me tell you right now that is not a healthy way to live!

I am not saying that you should ignore your boss’s emails in the middle of a project which you are spearheading. However, at the grocery store, in the movies, on a hike, and in the bedroom, it isn’t entirely necessary to answer the call or see who changed their relationship status. There will be time for that later like at 3 am when your significant other is sleeping and you have insomnia…or something like that!

1. Outgoing vulgar ring-back tone. I have no interest in knowing that you like big butts, even if it’s not a lie. For real!

2. A very complacent, religious, or rude voicemail when I call. Some real examples: “Yeah, I’ll get back to you when I feel like it”, A 5 minute sermon, or “If it’s important, I may return your call”. If I leave a message, which I probably won’t.

3. Don’t leave me a 20 minute long, ultra-detailed message with a speed through of your name/number. That is the important part of your message. Slow down and leave your name and number twice.

4. Don’t leave a message when you are in a wind tunnel, on an airplane, or at a rock concert. I don’t have sonar!

5. If you have never spoken with me personally, don’t just leave your name/number. Add some detail so I know why I am calling you back.

Happy dialing!

Because of the weight we as a society place on efficiency, many tasks, as you know, are handled via electronic means. If you don’t believe me, call your bank and try to get a human being on the line. It takes me at least 5 minutes!

Because of this, hiring managers have an expectation for their employees to provide a minimum of software proficiency, whether you are the medical, legal, finance, or governmental sectors. There is a variety of industry-specific software relating to your line of work. It is in your best interest to have a strong working knowledge of all areas of Microsoft Word as well as industry specific software (such as QuickBooks, Great Plains, SAP, or JD Edwards in accounting). Many managers hire preferentially on the basis of software knowledge, since companies are limited in the amount of time available to train.

How can I get additional software experience? Go online and look for tutorials. Volunteer with a company. Work as a temp employee, and you get exposed to a nice variety of software in a limited amount of time.

Whatever you do, don’t sell yourself as “Old School, like the paper and pencil kind of person”. And don’t forget to list all software you know in its own section on your resume!