Imagine you’re a busy HR manager who comes to the office and is greeted by a slew of voice mails. When you hit the button, you find out that these are all applicants inquiring about the job position your company is offering. What kind of voice mail would you want to hear?
Naturally, you would prefer to hear polite and respectful applicants rather than arrogant and overconfident ones. Yet, there’s more to it than that. Here are some guidelines to help you make the right impression in your voice mail messages:
1. Don’t forget your name and your contact information.
The most important thing in a voice mail message is to state who you are and what your phone number is. Never let yourself forget these things. State your name and your number in the clearest way possible – at least twice to avoid confusion. If you have an unusual name, be sure state your name and then spell your name out in your message for clarification.
2. Keep your messages short and simple.
A general guideline in leaving messages with potential employers is to keep them short and simple. Get straight to the point, and avoid mentioning unnecessary things. Remember, you’re calling about the job position, not for a long, friendly conversation.
3. Be mindful of the tone of your voice.
Your message should sound conversational yet still professional. Be formal unless he or she insisted in a previous conversation that you call him or her by his or her first name. Don’t use informal terms like “girl,” “dude,” “man,” etc. Be respectful at all times.
4. Leave a reminder.
Mention something that will remind the interviewer of something positive about you that was brought up in your previous conversations – like strengths and talents or anything you’re good at – to set you apart from all the other candidates.
5. Be alert and enthusiastic.
Don’t be clueless. You are the job seeker, so a follow-up call after a discussion or e-mail about a job interview is an important part of the process. Show the interviewer how excited you are about the position and how eager you are to work for the company.
To maximize the benefits of these guidelines, practice beforehand until it feels right. It’s easier to convey practiced messages than unprepared ones.