Have you ever thought about what your voicemail message says about you? Are you making a good first impression?
When you’re on the hunt for a job, you post, email or submit your resume with the goal of getting a call back. When that time comes, the recruiter or hiring manager will punch in the number advertised on your resume, and if you’re busy or let the call go to voicemail, they will get your answering machine recording. Recruiters get a lot of voicemails calling candidates day in and day out. It’s estimated that 70-80% of calls go to voicemail. When they listen to your message, what will they hear?
One of our recruiters, Adrienne, shared the top 5 voicemail messages she hears when making candidate calls day after day:
- Professional voicemail messages with a friendly greeting and clear instructions.
- Song or Ringback tones (ranging from rap to country music).
- Messages that say “You know the drill.”
- Requests that “If you have to leave a message, make it quick because I don’t like to listen to long ones.”
- “Just do it.”
Adrienne recommends aiming for #1. “When recording your voicemail greeting, consider the caller and the result of leaving such a message. Just as someone wants to put his best foot forward for a face-to-face interview, the initial impression the recruiter will have is that outgoing message. Leave one that makes that person want to actually connect with you!”
And if you’re having trouble creating a personalized recording that you like, another Placers staffing specialist, Zach suggested defaulting to a provider automated message, ‘you have reached ###-###-####’ for example. “Less is more,” he said. Whether you customize it or go with an out of the box option, your message should ask for the caller’s name and number and communicate that you will respond back when you can. “This is going to be the most professional way to go,” he advised. “Informal voice messages can (and likely will) be perceived as unprofessional or juvenile in nature. Also, I’d advise against customized ring back tones. You may love Beethoven’s fourth symphony or that Bon Jovi song about giving love a bad name, and maybe your friends enjoy it too, but you’re likely to annoy a recruiter who listens to lots of voicemails each day.”
In general, our staffing specialists agree with Grace who says that “it is so important for active job seekers to have voicemail boxes that are properly set up and able to receive new messages.” If you really want a job, this is a simple way to create more opportunities.
So, unless you’re Ellen Degeneres and have Adele on call to help record a creative voicemail message for you, keep it professional and to the point. You won’t separate yourself from the crowd by going conservative, but isn’t it best to stand out by interviewing and performing well?