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Design Recruitment Blog

How to Leave a Message on an Answering System

Posted on 29 Jul, 2021

Many job seekers can write the perfect CV and make it past the early stages of the applicant selection process. However, they may fail to make it to the next step or secure a follow-up interview due to leaving a weak voicemail message, showing unprofessional phone etiquette, or even failing to stand out from competing applicants.

Leaving a good impression on a voicemail is easier said than done. Whether you're required to call a potential recruiter and talk about why you're the right candidate, or you want to express your gratitude and leave a remarkable impression, planning what you have to say and how you deliver that message could make the difference between landing your dream job or receiving no follow-up interview from your potential employer.

So what could potentially happen when you call a recruiter?

  • - The recruiter answers the phone to arrange your physical interview
  • - The recruiter is unavailable, so you have to be transferred to their voicemail
  • - One of the recruiter's colleagues picks up the phone to relay your message
  • - No one is available to answer your phone call
Whichever scenario plays out, it is essential to make a lasting impression that makes you stand out from your peers. A concise and well-constructed voicemail will positively reflect your candidature and create a professional image that will boost your credibility, make you seem competent and encourage potential recruiters, business prospects and connections to move forward on a positive note.

Here are some of our tips to increase your interview rates and leave a solid voicemail message that presents you as the best potential applicant.

Practice and ask for an honest feedback

Don't fret over making the perfect voicemail message as it is likely to change with each new application, however, you should practice your telephone technique to ensure that it remains professional and communicates your message well. This will also help to take away your nerves. 

You can use a voice recorder to listen and analyse your message. If you are still unsure, ask a friend, family member, or co-worker to critique and give you constructive feedback. If you're worried about time, use a stopwatch to time yourself. Ideally, one minute or less can give you enough time to deliver a concise and coherent voicemail.

Don't forget to plan your conversation in case you need to leave a message with a receptionist or colleague. Make a note of the recruiter's details and your own contact details just in case your mind goes blank. Most importantly, treat these people with the same respect you would the person interviewing you as they are often valued team members whose input is part of the decision-making process. 

Keep it brief and concise

Many incoming calls will go to voicemail and introducing yourself at the start of the voicemail message will let the recruiters know who is calling and why. A brief introduction must include your full name, job position applied for and your contact details. Leaving too little information is a common mistake amongst applicants, so make sure to plan your script carefully.

Finish your message by repeating your name and telephone number clearly to save the recruiter having to replay the message if they missed it the first time.

Mention your availability

Clearly state in the message if there are any times you are unavailable to take a call or if you will be calling back. If you are able to take a call at any time, you don't need to specify availability.

If the recruiter calls you and you miss the call, call them back immediately, even if the call is from an unrecognised number. Don't forget to apologise for missing the call but don't overexplain the reasons! 

Speak clearly with a confident and professional tone

Address the recruiter as you would a hiring manager and avoid talking in a casual tone. Rushing your voicemail or rambling on for too long could distort your voice and make your message sound inaudible and incoherent to the listener. Additionally, expressing your passion and enthusiasm can go a long way, so make sure to take a deep breath and clear your throat beforehand if you have to. 

Leaving a compelling voicemail message can be challenging and stressful, but with Careers In Design's helpful tips and guides, you should hopefully have an easier time. For further career guidance, CV tips, and the latest vacancies, make sure to call us today on 01920 486 125.
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