Frankly speaking, it’s time to give voicemail another look…er, I mean, another listen!
For many of us, we set up our voicemails long ago and haven’t thought of changing them or maybe don’t even remember what is said in our voicemail message. Or, perhaps you’ve never even activated your voicemail, and why should you? In an era where close friends and family prefer texting versus phone calls, using voicemail can seem antiquated or superfluous.
Not too long ago, The New York Times carried an article exploring our interaction with (or without) voicemail, and found that more and more individuals were eschewing, either choosing not to leave messages, or not even setting up the feature at all! However, when it comes to office etiquette, or more importantly, job search phone etiquette, having a functional, professional voicemail is important. When potential employers call you to speak with you about a job, your voicemail lets them know if they’ve reached the right person, and offers them a glimpse of who they’ll be speaking with when you call them back. As a job seeker and candidate, it’s important to have a polite, brief (non-automated) voicemail greeting asking the caller to leave a message. For example:
“Hi this is Joe! I’m sorry that I missed your call. Please leave me you name and number so that I can call you back. Thanks!”
Remember too, when you’re looking for a job, that in fact, is your job! So it is important to stay on top of your voicemail messages by deleting the ones you’re not interested in, and replying to the ones that have your interest.
Having your voicemail activated gives employers a chance to tell you about potential jobs that might help advance your career. For instance, if you’re Software Developer, it may be easy to think that your next job is going to be as a Software Developer. But imagine for a moment that your career has been in the financial industry, and a prospective employer is looking for a Developer who can help them build a new financial application. This employer is willing to give an experienced Developer, who can leverage their industry experience an opportunity to work as a manager on a new application. That information, given the nuances of the situation, might not translate to an email as well as short message that engages you about the role, right?
You’ll find that when you’re job searching, you’ll have a better choice of opportunities if you employ these voicemail techniques, and potential employers will have an easier time connecting with you.