I hope you accept inquiries from businesses looking to hire and am rolling the dice in hopes of your help! I’m an employer who is looking to hire a Java Developer for my growing IT company. I have a couple of JVS Job Developers sourcing qualified candidates for me, and have also posted the job online on the Job Bank. My office manager and I have selected the five top candidates from about 100 resumes that I have received from these sources.
My office manager started to call each of the selected candidates to administer a pre-screening phone interview. She has reported to me that she left voicemail messages for all five potentials and gave me the following feedback. One candidate did not have a voicemail at all – the phone kept ringing and ringing, one candidate’s voicemail was impossible to hear because of crying babies in the background of the greeting and one candidate had a bizarre greeting as if he was going to a party. The final two candidates had professional sounding voicemails; the office manager left messages and will follow-up with these individuals. The other three candidates have been disqualified from the running.
Please could you let me know your advice regarding the voicemail etiquette. Hopefully job seekers reading your advice will adhere to it.
Thanks so much.
Signed: The Voicemail King (TVK)
Your comments regarding the voicemail of potential candidates is a regular complaint I have from employers looking to hire. It is absolutely necessary that all job seekers have a voicemail service on the phone number which they include on their resumes and cover letters, with a professional sounding greeting. Employers are very busy and will probably not call back if they do not like or cannot understand your voicemail greeting. I cannot tell you how many job seekers I have worked with have missed opportunities for interviews because of a lack of a voicemail with a suitable, relevant message.
Here are some tips for voicemail messaging and etiquette, that all individuals looking for work ought to consider:
- Don’t babble; all messages, whether voicemail or email, should be concise and to the point. No one wants to listen to or read a long-winded message. Keep it short.
- Speak loudly, clearly and slowly; don’t leave a voicemail message from a speaker phone; your message may not come through clearly.
- Mention your name and telephone number for all those phone calls from potential interviewers who do not know you well.
- Before recording your greeting, write it out and make sure you practice it; take care to record the message in a quiet space so only your voice can be heard.
- Make a good impression; the job search process is about building relationships with the people who may one day be your team member or manager. Your voicemail is their first point of contact with you so it is imperative that you present yourself as a professional from the get-go!
- If you find a voicemail from an employer, return the call as soon as possible; do not delay — the labour market is competitive and jobs get filled fast. Call the person back, but make sure you prepare a professional script, in case you get the employer’s voicemail and leave a message giving the employer times when you are available and a telephone number where you can be reached. Try to give as much information as possible without talking endlessly in the message. Leave your name and phone number with a little bit of information for the reason of your call. The interviewer has probably made hundreds of calls and sent countless emails and may need a refresher to remember who you are. Again, don’t babble. Be prepared, concise and direct.
- Whenever leaving voicemail, try to use a positive, enthusiastic and upbeat tone. It can help you stand out in the crowd of applicants
As with voicemail etiquette, email communications has its own set of rules and standards of what is accepted and not. This is a great topic for another time.
Good luck with finding a suitable match for your company.