We've all heard these voicemail messages....long drawn out stories with stories, or jokes. Or musical selections with the "sexy" voice at the end telling you to leave a message. Someone's kids asking you to leave a number for mommy or daddy. These messages are intended to be cute, funny, silly, interesting, or even charming....but to at least this recruiter, they are annoying as hell.
Think about it from an employer's perspective-I'm calling you to schedule a time to meet, or to screen you for my job. If I have to listen to a 5 minute message where I feel like you are trying to woo me with Barry White, I'm going to be a little irritated by the time I get to leave my message. Time is precious, and if I have to do this 20 times in an hour-all of my time is gone and then some....and if your message is obnoxious enough, I may simply hang up without leaving a message. What does that mean to you? Goodbye opportunity!
Ok, so what does that mean for people who like to show a little personality in their communications?
Well, if you want to make sure that your communications (voice, email, online, etc etc) aren't hurting you, dial it down a bit:
Cell phone:Keep your voicemail message simple, quick, and professional. No music, kids, or jokes. If you absolutely can't bear to part with your silly message, then think about getting a pay as you go cell phone for job searching and have the employers call you there.
Home phone: Same rule here-keep your message simple. However, the home phone has an added challenge...people may answer it! The horror! I can't tell you how many times I have been grilled by a wife, mother, or significant other when calling someone for a job. Or had a rude teenager act like I am a total imposition when I ask to leave a message. For an experienced recruiter, you know that this is just par for the course and it's ok. If you actually get a hiring manager who hasn't made a ton of these calls-this person might get turned off by the potentially rude members of your household. Make sure that you help everyone in your home understand how to handle calls like this...or if you should just let the voicemail pick up. And please-make sure that you do have some type of voicemail.
Email: Make sure that your email address is appropriate. I'll never forget the candidate whose email was "sexypiratehooker@ISP.com"...It's probably been 5 years and I still haven't forgotten that candidate's email. Her name and skills? Long gone from memory. It's probably easiest to make your email your name (or some version of it), however, try to avoid your year of birth or year of graduation. That makes it a bit too easy for someone to play "guess how old". While we are on the subject of email, make sure that if you use a signature line, it's professional and appropriate to your industry.
Bottom line is keep it professional, and dare I say it..maybe a bit on the conservative side. You probably won't ever lose a job opportunity from a boring message, but you sure might if you go a little too wild. I'd tell you to ask "sexypiratehooker", but I can't remember her name!
Michelle currently serves as a Job Search coach helping professionals make the leap from looking to landed. In addition to her time spent coaching individuals, she delivers a variety of training sessions from Social Networking, Working with Recruiters, Online Resume Posting, and Interview Prep.
Michelle possesses over 15 years of diverse experience in functional areas such as recruiting, human resources, coaching, training, organizational development, staffing, sales, sales management, retail, and banking/finance.
Prior to working as a job search coach, Michelle made her career in the Placement industry working most recently for the 2nd largest Staffing Company in the World. For this multi-national organization, Michelle served as an Agency Recruiter, Corporate Recruiter, Senior HR Manager, and Area Vice President. During her tenure with this organization, Michelle was also tasked with various Organizational Development programs including the creation of a company wide Career Progression Program. Michelle also served on the three person team that introduced a new “Gen Y” based hiring model that included a greater emphasis on college recruiting/branding and internships. As a result of this experience, Michelle considers her greatest strengths to be talent identification/retention, talent development, and coaching for performance improvement.
In addition to these areas of expertise, Michelle is rapidly growing her knowledge base around Social Media and Web 2.0 as it relates to the work world. She writes a regular blog on job searching that can be found at: http://hireme.typepad.com/michellemorettini/. Want to connect to Michelle?
Send her an invitation on LinkedIn at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/michellemorettini.
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