I can recall my mother telling me, “Don’t ‘hey’ me,” when I was a teenager. This was her go-to response after I would start a statement or question with “Hey, Mom.” To her, it was too casual. “Hey” was something you said to your friends, not to your parents. Or it was something horses eat.
Many years later, I find myself thinking the same thing when college students begin job-related messages using the word “Hey.” During my time as a campus recruiter, I recall receiving too many e-mails beginning with “Hey, Shannon.” Now, in my work in employment branding and social media, I still receive the occasional, “Hey.” Recently, I received and responded to a direct message via Facebook that read:
“Hey. I’m an undergraduate management student. Looking for summer internship. How do I approach it?”
What I wanted to say was, “Let’s start the conversation by being a bit more professional, as this will help you greatly during the job-search and interview process.” But alas, I didn’t.
Are students too casual when writing to or engaging with recruiters? Is it OK to be casual or is this a pet peeve that we can collectively nip in the bud? My hope is for the latter. My simple request is that career center staff (and professors and parents) will coach their students not to address company representatives or people with corporate social media using “Hey.”
Job Seeker Tip! Don’t address your e-mails and cover letters with “Hey, Recruiter.” Be more professional. Up your game. #careeradvice
Job Search Tip of the Day: Do not begin e-mails, cover letters, and conversations with recruiters or hiring managers using “Hey.” It’s way too casual. Throughout your job search strive to be friendly, conversational, and professional.
Maybe this bit of advice is something that is shared during Job-Search 101 sessions or mock-interview days. Or, maybe I’m just getting old.
What do you think? Is it OK to address a recruiter with “Hey?” Share your thoughts in the comments.