Your voicemail is ruining your job search

Your voicemail is ruining your job search

While recruiting it is normal to miss a candidate and leave a voicemail so your call can be returned. If you have never met or spoken to the candidate before,  the voicemail message is the second impression of the candidate. In this modern time, it is unacceptable to either not have a voicemail of have a voicemail that lets you down when you need it most…on your job hunt.

I could give you a long list of reasons, pros and cons for having or not having a voicemail. In my humble opinion, hearing the generic phone greeting or no greeting at all and to just have the phone hang up does not leave a positive image of you and could be a huge turn off. Conversely, having a lethargic, sleepy, abrupt or inaudible voicemail is just as bad.

If I am leaving you a voicemail for any reason, it means I am interested and would like to get to know you further. If your voicemail greeting does not portray you positively, you could be exited out of the recruitment process right there and then. I may either not leave you a message or leave a message and move your resume to the back of the pile.

I once had a hiring manager follow up with a candidate we had brought through the first round of the interview process. He wanted to reach out and follow up with her since there had been a short delay in the process. Maintaining the human touch, he decided to give her a phone call and then follow up with an email. Her voicemail was less than impressive. She sounded half asleep with a almost inaudible tone. Needless to say he was less than impressed and she shortly exited the recruitment process. This was his first introduction to the candidate as he had not spoken to her before. The impression of her from her voicemail tainted his opinion of her. In his mind, she was not a good fit. Right or wrong, that voicemail was not an aid in the recruitment process for her.

As a job seeker, the aim should be to ensure you manage your image and interactions as much as possible. Most job seekers overlook small areas like their email (we will talk about that soon ) and their voicemail thinking those things don’t play a role in your job search. Every detail matters and provides small clues and snap shots of who you are as a candidate and potential employee.

Now let’s fix it. Take out your phone and access your voicemail greeting options. Suggested script:

“You have reached the voicemail box of {Insert your name here}. I am sorry I missed your call. Please leave me a detailed message and I will return your call promptly. Thank you.”

Feel free to jazz it up as you see fit. My recommended rules of thumb:

1. Confirm the recruiter has reached the right person – tell them your name.

2. Let them know when you will follow up – promptly, within 24 hours or 48 hours.

3. Maintain an audible, pleasant and professional tone.

Don’t let your voicemail let you down.

Dear Applicant, Please READ the Job Description

Dear Applicant, Please READ the Job Description

The Jobseeker Journey

The Jobseeker Journey

0