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What does your voicemail say about YOU?

“Yo…I ain’t here right now leave me a message I’ll get back atcha”

Voicemail. We all have it and undoubtedly, when we first get a new cell phone, we call to set it up. Take a moment today to call your voicemail and listen to it…what kind of message are you sending to callers who hear it, hiring managers, especially? Here are a few things to avoid:

1. Using slang or inappropriate language

This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make on your voicemail, especially when you are searching for employment. If an employer calls you to schedule an interview and hears you using incorrect grammar or slang or, worse, hears you use foul language, you can kiss your opportunity for that position goodbye. Employers invest an outrageous amount of money into hiring a new employee…They want them to have a professional image and a good reputation. They are not going to take the chance on someone who gives an immediate red flag from their voicemail.

2. Music

Whether it is the new ‘call tones’ that callers hear instead of a ring when they call you or if you put a recording of a song on your voicemail, you need to remember a few things. First, if you have a ‘call tone’ you need to make sure it is of TASTEFUL music. Using a loud song with offensive language or music that deals with drugs, crime, etc. does not give an interviewer a good image of who they are calling. If you choose to use a song instead of the ring noise for callers to hear, use caution when choosing your tune.

Second, it is important to be professional in your personalized voicemail. If you choose to leave a message for callers more than just your phone number or your name, make sure you are professional. DO NOT leave recordings of songs that callers have to listen to before leaving a message. Employers have honestly admitted to hanging up and not returning a call for an interview because they did not want to listen to the song for 30 seconds before they could leave a message.  A simple, professional voicemail leaving your name and alternate ways to contact you or explaining that you will return a call as soon as possible is the best option.

 3. CHECK your messages!

In the era of texting, we sometimes forget that people do still contact us and leave us voicemails. Make sure you keep a conscious check of when you have a voicemail and have paper and a pen ready to take notes if you need to. Employers call you when they are ready to begin interviewing, so if you hesitate on checking your messages or returning a call, you could miss your chance at an interview.