Proper Use of Voicemail

An integral part of Job Search Central is the effective use of voicemail to take your calls when you arenot available. Imagine your future boss being greeted by your voicemail greeting and then answer this question: will it enhance or detract from what they think of you? If it is the latter, change it. Otherwise, your future boss may end up being someone else's future boss.

The time you invest in planning will pay back several times over in time and productivity.

I realize I should not even have to address this subject, but woefully, over 25 percent of the college voicemails I reach have an inappropriate outgoing message. They often are references to social habits ("I'm unable to answer my phone because I'm either out partying or passed out on my bed"), references to study habits ("I'm blowing off my normal classes to pursue advanced studies in chemical inebriation"), or even sexist remarks ("guys leave your phone number, girls leave your measurements"). And there are many others, some not suitable to print. I have heard them all. Take note—when I hear one of these sophomoric messages, that is likely the end of your candidacy with our company. You will never even know that I called. I will probably just hang up and cross you off my list. Think about it the next time you hear the caller "click off" on your voicemail without leaving a message. That could have been your dream job gone bye-bye. It may have been fun for the first few years, but don't blow your job opportunities over a stupid message. Stop right now, put down this book, and change your message to one of the following:

Your phone line and/or if you live by yourself:
Hello. This is (name). I'm not available to take your call right now. Please leave your name, phone number, and the best time to reach you. I will get back to you as soon as possible.

If you live with others and use an answering machine:
Hello. You have reached (names). We are not available to take your call right now. Please leave your name, phone number, the best time to reach you, and the name of the person you are trying to reach. We will get back to you as soon as possible.