As a college student, you know that only the people who are in your inner circle call you (actually, let’s be real, everyone texts you except for your mom). Because of this, you don’t necessarily think about tailoring your voicemail to people outside of your select group, like employers. However, when you’re applying for jobs, there’s a very high likelihood that an employer who wants to follow up on your application will call you and – in the event that you don’t pick up – leave a voicemail.
Here at WayUp HQ, we’ve been conducting thousands of interviews and interacting with students on one-on-one calls. We can attest to the fact that there are a few student voicemails out there that need a little updating. We’ve gotten everything from, “Hey, it’s the Princess, leave a message!” to toddlers screaming into the recording. Trust us, we love a little personality, but if you’re not careful, you could end up unintentionally turning away opportunities because you aren’t presenting yourself clearly or professionally.
Here are a few simple tips for the right type of voicemail greeting:
Make sure it’s your voice on the other line. Yes, it’s adorable if your little sister stole the phone from you and left a greeting — but she’s not the one on the job search. Make sure you clearly present yourself on the other line and open by stating your name. That way, you’ll avoid confusion, and the employer will know that he or she has dialed the right number.
Limit the amount of background noise. We’re all busy people, but no one wants to hear Chipotle orders in the making as you conduct your voicemail greeting. Take the time to find a quiet space on campus, and leave a greeting that won’t leave anyone saying, “Wait, what?”
Encourage the caller to leave his or her contact info, and state a clear follow-up time. Employers love when you’re proactive, so encourage the caller to leave his or her name and number so that you can follow up. For an added bonus, tell the caller when you plan on following up, e.g. “Please leave your name and number, and I will return your call within 24 hours.”
Again, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add a little personality or flair to your greeting – employers have a sense of humor too! Just make sure you’re keeping professional calls in mind when you record your greeting, and present yourself the way you would in an interview. A little attention to this kind of detail goes a long way!