In the competitive landscape of job hunting, every detail matters. From the wording on your resume to the presentation of your LinkedIn profile, each element plays a crucial role in shaping your professional image and influencing potential employers. However, amidst the flurry of preparing your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile, there’s one often overlooked aspect that can make or break your chances: your outgoing voicemail message.

Think about it. You’ve spent hours perfecting your resume, meticulously crafting each bullet point to showcase your skills and achievements. Your LinkedIn profile is polished to perfection, complete with endorsements and recommendations that highlight your expertise. But what happens when a recruiter or hiring manager tries to contact you directly? Are they greeted with a professional voicemail message that reinforces your brand image, or are they met with a generic automated response that leaves them unimpressed?

When competing for jobs, meticulous attention to every aspect of your job search, including your outgoing voicemail message, can be a game-changer. Crafting a voicemail message that helps distinguish you from the crowd can make a significant impact and set you apart from others vying for the same role.

Why Your Voicemail Matters

Your outgoing voicemail message may seem like a minor detail in the grand scheme of your job search, but it can have a significant impact on how you’re perceived by potential employers. When a recruiter or hiring manager calls your phone number, they’re not just looking for someone to fill a position – they’re looking for a professional who can add value to their organization.

> Your voicemail message is often the first impression they have of you outside of your written materials, and it can shape their perception of your professionalism, attention to detail, and overall suitability for the role.

Consider this scenario: a recruiter is impressed by your resume and decides to give you a call to schedule an interview. However, when they dial your number, they’re greeted by a generic automated message that simply says, “This voicemail box is not set up.” Instantly, their enthusiasm wanes, and they’re left with a less-than-ideal impression of your preparedness and professionalism. As a result, they may move on to the next candidate without giving you a second thought.

On the other hand, imagine if your voicemail message was personalized, professional, and aligned with your brand image. Perhaps you mention your current role or industry expertise, and provide clear instructions for leaving a message or contacting you via email.

> Suddenly, you’ve transformed a mundane voicemail into an opportunity to showcase your professionalism and attention to detail, leaving a positive impression that sets you apart from the competition.

Tips for Crafting a Standout Message

So, how can you ensure that your outgoing voicemail message makes a positive impression on potential employers? Here are some practical tips to keep in mind:

a person sitting at a desk with a smile on their face leaving a voicemail

Here’s what to keep in mind when creating your voicemail message.

  • Open with the basics.
  • Keep your message short, that’s under 30 seconds.
  • Wrap in a bit about yourself,
  • and then give a call to action.

As an example,

“You’ve reached Tammy Shoup in Career Services. I can’t take your call right now, but please leave your name and number, and I will get back to you as soon as I can, or you can reach me viaemail at Thanks for calling.


The goal with your voicemail message is to connect. Therefore, it’s important that you confirm that the caller has reached the correct number, that your message is personal and that it gives the caller direction as to their next step.

  1. Keep It Professional: Avoid using informal language or humor that may be misinterpreted. Instead, strive for a tone that is courteous, professional, and reflective of your brand.
  2. Provide Clear Instructions: Clearly provide instructions for leaving a message or contacting you via email. Make it easy for callers to reach you and ensure that they know what to expect.
  3. Keep It Concise: Aim to keep your voicemail message under 30 seconds to respect the caller’s time and convey professionalism.
  4. Review and Update Regularly: Periodically review and update your voicemail message to ensure that it remains relevant and reflects any changes in your availability or contact information.

By paying attention to these details and crafting a standout voicemail message, you can elevate your job search and leave a lasting impression on potential employers. Remember, in the competitive world of job hunting, every detail matters – including the way you answer the phone. So take the time to ensure that your voicemail message reflects your professionalism, attention to detail, and commitment to success. Your future career prospects may depend on it.


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