Voice Mail Etiquette for the Business World

Best Practices for Voice Mail Etiquette

It seems lately I’ve received a number of voicemails both at work and on my cell from customers or candidates that leave out important information when leaving a message. Here’s a quick best practice for voicemail.

Voice Mail Etiquette for the Business World

  1. Know the name of the person you are leaving a message for. Sounds simple, right? I think so too. You won’t believe the number of people who leave a message for someone named Jennifer on my voicemail. Hello, my name is Jessica. What’s the impression you’d like to leave your recruiter with?
  2. Repeat your name and phone number twice during the call. I receive a large number of messages where I can’t hear the name of the person leaving the message or their phone number because of the wonders of cell phone technology. Your message should be something like, “Hi, Jessica. This is Sharon Andrews. You had left me a message about scheduling a phone interview for later this week for the Accounting position. Please contact me at 405.222.3200. Once again my name is Sharon Andrews at phone number 405.222.3200.” Brilliant!!
  3. Practice your message and keep it brief. 15-20 seconds at most. Often times I’ll have 2o messages when I arrive to work on any given day. Be respectful and keep your message short, professional, and to the point.
  4. Talk slowly and enunciate your words. You are not in a race. Talk confidently and professionally. Show energy & enthusiasm. My mom used to tell me to put a smile in your voice. And you should too!!
  5. Phone Stalking is a no no. The wonders of caller id have allowed me to see who has called me and how many times. Be respectful and leave a message. Don’t call 25 times (yup it’s true) in ONE day! Often times I am out of the office for the day or in meetings and don’t get to returning candidate calls until the afternoon of the following day. A message every other day is just fine.
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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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