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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Your ringtone matters in job search

The author is an Organizational Development Practitioner
What is your ringtone and why did you consider it over all the other available tunes? What message do you intend to tell the world through your ringtone? Believe it or not but your ringtone says a lot about who you are and could be a significant factor for consideration during job search. Your ring tone can either support or deny you a job opportunity depending on the interpretation of the person on the other side of the call connection.

With the advent of ‘skiza’ tunes, many people are opting to subscribe to ring tunes that will hopefully entertain the caller as they wait to receive the call or one that will pass a certain message. This passes as a harmless practice until you lose a dream job opportunity due to the perception of the potential employer about your ring tone. Ringtones can be interpreted to communicate your values in life, your perception about men and women and about situations in life. Some tones carry explicit religious undertones or political preferences. All this is a communication about who you are and what you value and are aligned to.

As much as it may not be wrong to let the whole world know what you ascribe to or what your personal values are, it is also wise to appreciate that not all people out there consider your values as appropriate. Consider Janet’s experience for a second. After about 7 months of a potential employer’s silence, she received a call on an afternoon on her way from lunch break. This was exciting. She remembered she had submitted the particular application many months ago and was hence excited that she could be considered long after she had lost hope. She was sure this could just be what she was destined for as it came back as a surprise.

The caller had sought for information about her references and her current engagement should they want to consider her for an interview. Janet provided all the required information and waited through the week for the invitation for the interview. One week passed followed by weeks of silence from the potential employer. In the quietness of her moments, she sought to consider what could just have happened and after gathering courage called the employer to check out whether the process was still on. To her surprise, she was informed that the recruitment process had been concluded.

Seeking to know why she had been unsuccessful, she was informed ( in confidence) by the receptionist that she had been considered unfit for the position due to her ‘skiza’ tune that sounded offensive and against the values and aspirations of the employer. This sounded like a surprise but she honestly knew that her ring tone would be considered unacceptable in some quarters. She has since decided to slide back to conservatism in terms of ring tones with the hope she would rather lose a job due to lack of professional qualifications rather than due to an unwelcome ringtone.

And so, as you consider your work and daily engagements, seek to check whether you could be denying yourself opportunities due to your ringtone. As a marketer, you may just lose a client due to your ‘skiza’ tone or could just lose the trust of your subordinates when they listen to messages through your phone that may consider inappropriate.


  1. It is only prudent to think of the long effects of our actions before we expedite them. As the old adage goes, 'one mans meat is anothers poison', it is only fair when we put this into consideration.

  2. That's a very Educative Post. God Bless you big

  3. That's a very Educative Post. I do have a skiza tune by Paul Mwai. It's a worship chorus that I love so much. I know it may sound boring to people who dont listen to gosple music, especially worship songs. Considering the fact that not all the people who call me are Born Again Christians. What's the best thing to do? By the way am lookin for a job. Could this be the reason? Thanks alot. Baraka

    1. Milly: It's good you seem to imagine that it could be that some people are put off by your ring back tone...not not people appreciate your great choice of music...others could just be offended...sometimes, since it breaks no bone to remove the tune, why not just delete it and have your life free from being discriminated against because of your tune...


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