Phone Etiquette

Don't let your voicemail greeting (or lack of one) sabotage your chance of getting an interview.

Your Outbound Voicemail Greeting

Now is the time to update your "unusual" or "unique" voicemail greeting. Ask yourself what your future employer will think of your message and how that message represents you.

  • Double check that your voicemail is set up and has space to receive new messages. Delete outdated voicemails that you no longer need.
  • Make sure your message is polite, direct and identifies you either by confirming your name or phone number.
  • Make sure your message can be understood clearly. EXAMPLE: "Hello, this is (your name). I am sorry I am not available to take your call right now. Please leave your name, number, a brief message, and the best time to reach you. I will get back to you as soon as possible."
  • Avoid unnecessary background noise such as other people or music. Set your new voicemail greeting in a quiet space. 

Leaving a Voicemail Message

To leave a message for someone to return your phone call, try to have the correct pronunciation of their name and make sure you state the following slowly and clearly:

  • Your name
  • Your phone number
  • Your message
  • The best time to reach you
  • Your name again
  • Your phone number again

Additional Notes About Phone Etiquette 

  • Return phone calls promptly.
  • If you are driving, in class or otherwise occupied, let the call go to voicemail and call back at a better time.
  • Remember that once you have applied for a job, internship or co-op, every call that comes to your phone could be an employer. Keep this in mind and answer your phone accordingly.