These tips for job applicants concerning your mobile self expression were caught in one of my news alerts:
"Your cell phone is ringing. If you are job hunting, the person calling may be your future employer. If it is, you have obviously impressed them with your application or stellar resume -- you don't want to ruin your chances by handling the call unprofessionally.
"In recent years we have found a majority of applicants list only their cell phone number for direct contact. However, some applicants are too casual when using their cell phones. Often, recruiters are greeted with voice mail messages that should never be heard by a prospective employer."
"While the latest trend is to personalize your ringback tone with the hottest music download, usually it does not reflect a professional image. Your friends and family may enjoy listening to your favorite song before you answer, but a prospective employer may not."
"Select an appropriate voice mail message. Keep it short and include your full name so the prospective employer knows they have reached the correct applicant."
The article describes the inevitable encounter of the professional and private spheres. While it advices to pretend that we don't have a private life, I think that if someone calls my personal mobile phone, it is only natural for the caller to be exposed to private aspects of my life\personality.
Very popular online news narrative is the story of applicants who weren’t hired due to facts\personal opinionswritten in their personal blogs\mySpace profiles etc'. Also, many experts advice us to be very careful with what we put online. While I agree that we should think before publishing personal content online -- if someone knocks on my door in the middle of the night, why would he\she be surprised to find me in my polka doted pajamas?! Should I deny having one or quickly change to my business suit? -- I hope you all agee that this is ridiculous; Likewise, if someone calls my private mobile phone, he\she have to realize that he\she is stepping into my personal world and that he\she will hear my personal greeting or my personalized ringback tone. We all have a professional persona and a private one at the same time. By no means it should disqualify an applicant from getting hired for the job.
Having said that, if this still bothers you, you don't have to get rid of your ringback tone. Today, you can have multiple ringback tones and multiple voice mail greetings set according to the person calling you. So you can set up “How I wish you were here” for your girl\boyfriend and “Work All Day” for your prospective employer. There's no need to hide.