You and Your Voice Mail Message

Whether you are actively seeking a new position, content with your current assignment, in school or retired, your voice mail speaks volume about you before you even answer the phone.  Here are the top five things to remember.

  1. Set up your voice mail system!  Duh!!!  You would be surprised how many times during a day I call someone to discuss an opportunity only to find that I am unable to leave a voice mail message because they have not set it up on their system.  Make that a priority.  Do it immediately.
  2. Clean out your voice mail box regularly.  What is the point of saving every message you receive, and ultimately prohibiting new messages from being left because the mail box is full?  My immediate response is – LAZY!
  3. Record a professional message without any background noise.  Do you really think anyone wants to hear your favorite heavy metal band, the traffic outside your window or the dog barking?  Be serious.  Speak clearly and to the point.  This is not the time for cutesy messages.
  4. If you have the option to have your caller listen to music while they are waiting for you, be careful of what you choose.  You want to leave an upbeat, positive, professional presentation.
  5. Return your messages promptly and professionally.  Make sure that this impression is polished and positive.  You won’t get a second chance.

I know that these things sound so simple; so basic.  You would be surprised how many people ignore them.  Consider this a reminder.

This post was originally published on August 17, 2012.