When you are looking for a new job or another professional challenge, your telephone skills or the lack thereof may seriously influence your chances of success.

This article discusses 7 tips for crafting a voicemail message that makes a great first impression and that invites callers to leave a message or call you back.

Craft your voicemail message, build your brand.

7 Tips for a great Voicemail Message - Job Application Tips Pauwels ConsultingYour voicemail message is a powerful branding tool. The content and in particular your tone of voice can give a great impression of your personality. This impression can either invite or prevent recruiters and other business contacts from sending you interesting job opportunities.

In order to maximize the full potential of your voicemail message, make sure that your voicemail is:

1. Authentic

Record your voicemail message with your own voice. If you haven’t already done so, change the default message of your carrier and record your own message. Don’t let others do this for you; you don’t want to sound like someone else.

2. Pleasant

Record your voicemail message in a quiet place without too much noise or reverb. Recording your message while driving your car can be noisy. Recording your voicemail message at night (with less background noise) may be a better idea.

3. Fluent

Speak distinctly at a comfortable volume and pace and with a pleasant intonation and tone of voice. Preparing your message in advance is a good idea, but don’t read it out loud. Ideally, your voicemail message will sound natural and inviting.

4. Professional

Forget about ‘funny’ tunes and messages. Humor is a serious thing. It can be perceived as funny or downright irritating. Don’t jeopardize your chances of success with ill-placed humor.

5. Original

Using humor in voicemail messages can be tricky, but an original voicemail message won’t hurt. Change your voicemail message once in a while and try to include facts that showcase your commitment to the things you do.

6. Informative

Tell your callers that they have reached your voicemail. Articulate your name with care. This way your callers will know for sure that they have dialed the correct number. This will lower the threshold to leave a message.

7. Instructional

Give your callers a clear call to action. A phrase like “Please leave your name AND number and I will get back to you as soon as possible.” tells your callers what to do and what to expect.

Good telephone skills are critical to your success!

Good telephone skills can seriously increase your chances of being invited to job interviews and other interesting job opportunities. And yet the importance of good telephone skills for your career is often underestimated.

Next week we will elaborate on the importance of good telephone skills. We will then discuss tips to leave compelling voicemail messages with recruiters and for following up on your phone conversations.

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