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Voice Mail for Job Seekers

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Ever called a phone number and got a voice mail message like one of these?
“Heeeeeeeeeey…..It’s Jerry! I can’t stop to talk right now – either too hung over or too busy hitting clubs! Leave me a message.”
“Hello? … Hello? …. Speak up….I can’t hear you. Hello? Oh, just leave a message!”
“This is the Tom Cat. I’m out on the prowl. Meow. Leave a message.”
“Hi. Leave a message. Beep. Ha! Fooled you. Here’s the real beep. Beep. Gotcha again!”
“Hey, you’ve reached the social butterfly network! Too busy partying to keep up! Leave your details and I’ll get back as soon as I can!”

Voice mail can be a lot of fun, but, if you’re looking for a job, you need to keep up a professional image. The funny personal greetings your friends and family love may put off a recruiter or hiring manager. Even your references may have second thoughts if they call and hear an odd message.

For best results, put together a professional-sounding voice mail message. Write out and practice the script, so that you can make a smooth recording. Include your name, phone number and a polite request for the caller to leave a message. And remember to say thank you.

Hello, this is (name) at (your phone number). I’m not available to take your call, but if you leave your name, number and a brief message, I will get back to you as soon as I can. Thank you.”

If applicable, you can also provide a cell phone number at which callers can reach you. Remember to answer your cell phone professionally too!

Should you be leaving town or away from your voice mail for a few days, consider noting that on your voice mail message. That way, recruiters won’t think you’re unavailable or disinterested if you don’t respond to their call right away.

Like every other tool you use to with employers, voice mail can influence the way recruiters and hiring managers perceive you. A professional home message suggests you’re a professional, organized person. And that’s exactly the kind of person companies want to hire.

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