Change Your Voicemail Greeting When Looking for a Job

Now, more than ever, there are many ways to sabotage yourself when looking for a job. Social media and digital profiles have become an integral part of our lives, but even if you don’t leave incriminating posts on Twitter or Instagram, there is still an old oversight that could negate your chances of getting a new job if you don’t. Pay attention: I’m talking about your silly, reckless voice greeting.

After your interview, the last thing you need is for a potential employer to call you and hear the voicemail greeting you saved after a college party, or a voiceover in the background, or some casual greeting that suggests you have little time. or attention to people trying to get you. Or worse, one of those prank voicemail messages where someone pretends to answer a call, only to trick the caller with a recorded message.

While it’s pretty intuitive how to leave an acceptable greeting, here are a few examples that can shoot you in the foot if a potential boss is unlucky enough to call you and wait for the signal.

First, make sure your mailbox is empty.

Nothing screams “I’m not together” like a full mailbox. First, most people in younger cohorts – think millennials and Gen Z – don’t rely too much on voicemail anyway. But the employer always leaves you a voicemail, so when he does, you won’t be caught with your pants down.

Correction? Just sit down and clear your voicemail once a week, or even once a month if it’s not particularly busy.

Stop using your voicemail as a joke

It’s funny when you’re in high school, but leaving behind an inner joke or some pre-written greeting designed to induce giggles loses its shine pretty quickly as you grow up. Don’t get me wrong, it might be funny, but chances are the HR person didn’t understand that you need to do business.

Alternatively save your internal gag audio file for posterity. Store it on your phone or other hard drive that you have close at hand, and dig it up for nostalgia whenever you want to share it with your friends. You can all keep the memory of the silly voicemail greeting that probably stunned your older family members at some point, but that’s what it needs to stay – a memory.

Lack of greeting can be just as bad

You won’t get any applause for not setting up your voicemail. And in fact, it can hurt you. As Andrea Barger, head of public relations for job posting platform Snagajob, wrote in 2016 , the lack of a greeting “makes you look a little lazy and can upset hiring managers.”

She continues by emphasizing the importance of not only greeting as a foundation, but also notes that a good greeting can only work in your favor:

Little things like great voicemail can really set you apart from the competition. Think about it. Would you like to interview someone who yells about how much they hate calling back, or someone who just asks you to leave a message?

Some helpful tips

For the uninitiated among us, there are several ways to record the correct voicemail greeting. It can be short and sweet, and should never overdo it.

As Aja Frost writes for Hubspot , you can tailor your greeting to suit professional, personal, vacation, and even playful needs. But a normal script will suffice for any situation, she writes:

Voicemail greetings should be professional, but their structure can vary depending on the situation. Here is an example of a voicemail greeting script: “Hello, you’ve called [name] at [company]. I can’t answer the phone right now. Leave your name and number and I’ll call you back as soon as I’m free. Thank you.”

If this is your personal device, you don’t need to mention your company (although you can if it’s your speed). The point of voicemail greeting is to convey something very simple: “I’m not here right now, but I’ll call you back. Thank you for your time. Have a nice day. “Also, I would not recommend being more ambitious.


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