This week, we take a moment to focus on a couple quick tips that you can incorporate into your job search tactics. On the agenda today? Voicemail greetings and email addresses.
By now, we have all likely been witness to the creative voicemail greeting run amuck. For example, how many times have you called someone, and they seemingly pick up the phone and say “hello,” prompting you to start talking. Seconds later, you hear something like “I’m just kidding. You’ve reached my voicemail…” Right. Your friend was never on the line, and now you’re feeling frustrated and a little sheepish.
Another classic is the voicemail greeting that utilizes fun gimmicks, like polka music or children who are adorable but impossible to understand. While individuality in voicemail greetings has a place, the job-hunting process may not be the opportune moment for you to unveil your creative genius to the unsuspecting public.
Also, think carefully before you decide to use music in place of the traditional ringback tone. You know what we mean. It begins with an automated voice that says, “Please enjoy the music while your party is reached.” And then the caller hears some sort of music blasted at about 10 million decibels. Even if the music itself is not offensive in nature (but it frequently is), it’s often played too loudly and seems to go on for an interminable amount of time. Suffice it to say, the safest route is to stick with the default ringing sound. You can always change it back later!
So going back now to the voicemail greetings—especially the prank greeting. If that has the potential to annoy friends, imagine what effect it could have on potential employers. Honestly, some of them will hang up the phone without leaving a message and will not call back. That’s a bit harsh, we know. But it’s very true.
The safest route is a basic, simple voicemail greeting. If it’s your cell phone, just change the settings for now; you can always change them back later! For home answering machines, you can change the recording, or you could even consider giving only a cell phone number on resumes and applications. Voicemail greetings are yet another huge opportunity where you can control the impression you leave. Make it count!
And this brings us to email addresses. While this is a subtle touch, it is definitely something an employer notices as he or she types your address to send you an email. If your primary email account is something like firstname.lastname@example.org, you may wish to change that to an address that is more basic and conservative. Even if you have to create a new email just for the job search, they’re free these days. A few extra minutes of your time can absolutely save your impression!