In the world of voicemail greetings, there are the good, the bad and the ugly. Chances are, you have heard examples of each of them, with maybe far too many of the bad and ugly. For instance, if you call a buddy only to hear a generic robotic voice saying “You.have.reached.126.96.36.199.2.12,” you might wonder if you really reached the right person. If you call a co-worker and have to listen to a long winded explanation as to why they can’t answer the phone, you might wish you had never called him in the first place.
Fortunately, these examples notwithstanding, recording a professional voicemail greeting is really not that difficult. For instance, check out these helpful tips:
Learn How to Record One
If you realize “I don’t know how to set up my voicemail on my phone,” you can usually find directions on your carrier’s website. They’ll offer clear and concise directions on how to set up a voicemail. It’s often as simple as pressing and holding 1, entering a password if you are prompted to do so and record your greeting. That’s it — now your voicemail is ready to go.
Make It Short and Sweet
Because a proper voicemail can make a positive impression on a recruiter who is calling to set up an interview with you, as well as turn her off before she gets to speak with you, make sure your voicemail has a number of key elements. A good rule of thumb is to keep the greeting 20-25 seconds long; this will give you enough time to say a quick greeting, state your name, say that you can’t make it to the phone right now, invite the caller to leave a message and promise to get back to them ASAP.
Is There a Better Way to Reach You? Let the Caller Know
If you tend to be easier to reach via email, add this nugget of info to your recorded message. This way, the caller will have an alternate way to contact you, which is definitely a positive when it’s an important call like a new boss asking you to come in early or new employer offering you a job.
Leave the Personal Details Out
By all means, do not include all sorts of personal details that will either annoy the caller or let a potential criminal know your business. For example, announcing to callers that you cannot come to the phone because “I’m in Europe for the next two weeks and won’t be home until May 23” will let a wrong number or shady salesperson know that your house is unoccupied. Also, saying things like “I’m at the doctor getting that nasty rash checked out” might cause your friends to have a good chuckle — but again, what if it’s your Grandma calling, that cute co-worker you’ve had your eye on for awhile or your supervisor? It’s probably not what you want them to hear.
A Quick Tip About Multiple Numbers
If you have a home number and a business number, it is possible to consolidate them all into one centralized platform. Tech Republic suggests using call forwarding to have one phone ring on the other; Multiple carriers offer this service. When you do this, you will have to record your voicemail greeting to address both your business and personal lines — be sure the message includes both your name and your company name, along with the invitation to leave a message.
Go for the Good, and Leave the Bad and Ugly Behind
The great thing about voicemail messages is that once you record a professional one, you can leave it on your phone for as long as you like. Take a few minutes to compose a short and clear message that covers the aforementioned tips and people who call you will hang up with a good impression of you.