Phone interviews and follow-up calls are an inevitable part of any job search. Many times an applicant will need to call, or at least feel the need to call, to check the status or verify that information was received. Yet often the applicant will end up in voice mail. When this happens the applicant needs to leave a quality voice mail message to keep you in the running for the job.
Here are the five components of a great voice mail:
- Name. Always start your message by clearly giving your name (and company if applicable). Be sure to clearly enunciate by saying your first name, pausing for a moment, then your last name. Two rules apply here. First, never assume they will recognize you from your voice nor should you assume they know your last name when they hear your first name. The pause in the middle is to keep your first and last name from running together. Time the pause by saying the word “pause” in your head between the two names.
- Your position. Remind the recruiter you are an applicant for the specific position you are applying. The company may have multiple job openings and you cannot reasonably assume they will know which position you are seeking.
- Your phone number. The thing to put in your quality message is your number. Phone numbers are often mentioned as a pet peeve during the customer service classes I teach, particularly because people tend to race through their number. Give your number slowly, but not too slow, and always mention your areas code.
- Concise message. Now is the time for the meat. Leave a focused message with enough clearly spoken concise information for the recipient to know why you called, why they should call you back (if a call-back is important) and what you want them to do next. Brevity is essential so keep it to key points. Everybody listening to voice mail knows their delete key and they are not afraid to hit it if you ramble on, mumble, or make little business sense.
- Name and number. Yes, you have already given your name and number once, but do not assume they got it. Give it again so they will not have to replay your message.
Include these five simple elements and your voice mail messages will reflect the quality of your professionalism.
©2014 Max Impact, used with permission.
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