Avoid These 3 Voicemail Mishaps When Job Searching

Andrea Barger |
Andrea (she/her) is our head of PR at Snagajob, where she’s focused on telling the world how we help hourly workers and employers. Her first hourly job was as a lifeguard.

Picture this:

You’ve worked hard on your application. You’ve double- and triple-checked for spelling errors and you know you are a perfect fit for this job. You’ve followed up on your application and made such a great impression that the employer decides they want to call you in for an interview. You are checking your phone, anxiously awaiting the call…but nothing seems to happen.

Now picture the employer:

The hiring manager loved your error-free application, and really liked the initiative you showed when you came in to follow up on your application. They have a really good feeling about you and are looking forward to having you come in to interview for the position. There’s even talk about hiring you on the spot! So, the manger dials your number and…ring….ring….ring…”We’re sorry, the voicemail box you are trying to reach is full. Please try again later.” The manager starts to think that you aren’t taking this very seriously and moves on to the rest of the applications, as there isn’t any time to waste with this job needing to be filled quickly.

Is this fair? Maybe not. Does this happen? Yep.

Your voicemail is important. Keep in mind, this is essentially one of the first impressions the hiring manager will have from you. You need to make sure your voicemail is as professional as possible.

Avoid these scenarios:

1) Plain bad voicemail

 Whether you are trying to be funny, trying to show off your singing abilities or shouting in the car with the windows down, chances are the hiring manager won’t be impressed. Go into a quiet room and record a simple, “Hi, you’ve reached Kim Costa. I’m sorry I missed your call, but if you please leave your name, number and a brief message I will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks!” You really can’t go wrong with this. Trust me when I say that hiring managers probably don’t want to hear your high school’s fight song.

2) Full mailbox voicemail

As in the situation above, a full mailbox can be really frustrating for an employer who is trying to get in touch with you. Set aside time at least once a week to make sure you clean out your voicemail. You want to be as accessible as possible for potential employers.

3) No voicemail

I’ve called a few job seekers lately to help with their search and have gotten this message, “We’re sorry. The person you are trying to reach has not yet set up their voicemail system. Please try again later.” This makes you look a little lazy and can frustrate the hiring managers. As soon as you get a new phone, make sure you make it a priority to get your voicemail up and running. Definitely make sure you have it set up before you start sending out job applications. I understand this could slip your mind, but it’s important that you do everything you can to show the hiring manager that you are reliable and reachable.

Little things like a great voicemail can really set you apart from your competition. Think about it. Would you be more inclined to want to interview someone who is shouting about how much they hate calling people back, or the person who simply asks you to leave a message?