February 17, 2011
Does your email address and voicemail message give the right impression to potential employers?
When applying to jobs, it’s important to have a professional and appropriate email address and voicemail message for business use. It seems basic, but too often does the following occur: a job seeker applies to a job with an email address like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Definitely a turn-off for potential employers.
Same goes for your voicemail message. If an employer calls you up and hears the message, “Reynolds Pizza, what’s your order? KIDDING! It’s Brett, leave it after the beep,” chances are they’ll hang up without leaving a message. An employer will consider a voicemail message like this unprofessional.
Instead, follow these rules for professional email addresses and voicemail messages:
- Create a new email address specifically for your job search. This is a good step regardless, so you don’t mix up your personal and job search emails.
- If possible, include your name in your email address like firstname.lastname@example.org so the employer can find email correspondence from you easily.
- It’s acceptable to create an email address that corresponds to your industry or profession, such as SallySalesManager@xyz.com.
- Avoid unnecessarily complicated email addresses, especially those with long strings of numbers. Mistakes could easily be made while entering your email address, making it difficult for potential employers to contact you.
- Include your name or phone number in the message, mention you’re unavailable to answer the phone. Then ask them to leave their name, number and message, and say you will get back to them as soon as possible.
Example: “Hi, this is Rachel. I’m unable to take your call now, but please leave your name, number and message after the tone and I’ll return your call as soon as possible. Thank you.”
- Speak clearly, and sound professional and polite when recording your greeting.
- Avoid background noise, musical or other “cute” messages, religious messages, joke messages, and profanity.
When you begin your job search, make sure your email address and voicemail message are simple and professional, rather than off the wall, inappropriate or bizarre. By doing so, you can ensure they will not harm your chances of being contacted by an employer. Paying attention to these small details can greatly improve your prospects of being hired.
Are you a recruiter or hiring manager who has come across an unprofessional email address or voicemail message? Do you have other tips for job seekers? Share in the comments below!