At the Beep

Your phone message says more than you think It’s not unusual that many times during your job search, for someone needing to speak with you, their first contact with you is your out-going pre-recorded phone message. And you know what they say about first impressions.

In otherwise normal circumstances, many adults (or families) will feature cute phone messages often recorded by their children. And that’s fine — under “normal circumstances.” Unfortunately, with you experiencing a job search, these do not qualify as “normal circumstances.” While some recruiters or hiring managers will share your affinity for cute child-inspired messages, others will not. Let’s not lose sight of the big picture. In all probability, your job search is the dominant condition in your family dynamic or your household and, as such, it needs to be handled in a professional manner. Short and professional is best. Keep it simple. As yourself, what does the caller want and/or need to know? The over-riding piece of information is your name. They need to know that they have reached the right number. After that, “Please leave your message after the beep” is all they need to know. Certainly, if there is another number where you can be reached, that’s important – especially for households with a generic “family line” and individual cellphone numbers. There may be extraordinary circumstances that may be relevant and that should be available. If you’re going to be out of town or otherwise unavailable for an unusual period of time, make that known. “I won’t be able to return your call until Monday,” is one such outlier. Your friends and family really won’t care if you make your message short and professional. But potential employers and recruiters will notice long and/or “cute” messages or those left by children. Once you land your job, you always can change it back.

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