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Thursday, June 02, 2005


Hiring Pre-Sell: Voice Mail Etiquette

While you are out job searching, you may use a telephone answering machine to record calls received.

If an employer calls you, what will he hear? I have had clients with fake famous voices on their machines, weird messages, loud music, or the sound of partying. This may be great for your friends but don't use the fun stuff during job search. If a company calls and hears something like: "If this is the IRS, I'm in the Bahamas," or "This is Bill and Sue. Sorry, we're partying or having sex right now, we'll call you back," your resume just went in the round file.

Record a message that is short, businesslike, and gives your full name in a clear, confident manner. That message will pre-sell you in the employer's eyes and should result in a message being left and your resume retained close at hand.

If someone at your home is going to be answering the calls, now is not the time to let the little tyke answer -- you want reliability expressed, not cuteness. The same for your hard-of-hearing Aunt Mabel. Make sure that your family understands that this is crucial and try to make one individual the responsible party for taking calls and messages.

If you call an employer or a networking contact, also be businesslike. Leave your full, well-articulated name and give your telephone number slowly and distinctly. Nothing is more frustrating than having to play back a message three times to get the name and telephone number correct. Making someone frustrated is not part of a good pre-selling package.

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