No matter how good your resume, your motivation letter, your reputation and your written communication skills may be, good telephone skills are critical for your job search.

In our previous blog post we discussed the importance of having an inviting voicemail message. But what to do when you have to call (back) a recruiter? How do you leave a compelling voicemail message that invites a recruiter to call you back?

Calling a recruiter: Prepare, rehearse and believe in yourself!

Want a job interview? Leave a compelling voicemail message!If you call (back) a recruiter, 4 things can happen:

  1. The recruiter is unavailable and you end up in his or her voicemail.
  2. The recruiter doesn’t pick up the phone but a colleague does.
  3. The recruiter picks up the phone.
  4. No one picks up the phone.

In either either case, it is important to make a good impression. This can only be achieved if you prepare, rehearse and believe in yourself. Therefore:

  1. Decide whether you want to leave a message before you call the recruiter! Some things can be better discussed in a one-to-one conversation rather than through a one-directional voicemail message.
  2. If you don’t want to leave a voicemail message, make sure you end the call before the beep. Don’t leave voicemail messages with static noise or -even worse- a vague message without a purpose and call to action.
  3. If you want to be transferred by the colleague who picked up the phone, be prepared to communicate who you are, who you are calling for, what you are calling about and what actions you expect from the colleague who answered your call.
  4. If you don’t want to leave a message with the colleague who answered your call, tell your name, why you called, and that you will try again later. In all cases: be smart! Ohter colleagues’ opinions can seriously influence how a recruiter feels about you.
  5. If you reach your recruiter, make sure you can properly introduce yourself and the reason for your call. And do your research on the recruiter and/or the company he/she is working for! Try to ‘know’ the recruiter before dialing his or her number.

Tips for leaving a convincing compelling voicemail message

If you decide to leave a voicemail message in a recruiter’s mailbox, the following tips may help:

  1. Divide your message in 3 parts: an introduction in which you introduce yourself, a body in which you name the reason for your call and an ending with a call to action and your contact details (if you want the recruiter to call you back).
  2. Make it super easy for the recruiter to find your details in his/her system and to call you back. End your voicemail message with your e-mail, phone number (twice), your name, the reason for you call and a clear call to action.
    An example ending may be “You can reach me at [email protected] and 01-23456789. That is 0… 1… 2… 3… 4… 5… 6… 7… 8… 9… This was John Doe from Company X. I called you regarding the job opening for Marketing Officer with Company Y. I look forward to hearing from you”.
  3. If you are not fully satisfied with the voicemail message you just recorded, try again! This option may not be possible with all providers, but if you can you should do your best to improve your message as much as you can.

3 Extra tips for more success

Sometimes you are not actively looking for a new job, but recruiters may be looking for you! Therefore:

  1. If you missed a call: Call back! Always! Calling back an unknown number may take some courage, but you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime because you don’t have the courage to call back, do you?
    Evidently, it is hard to prepare for such a telephone call. If you reach a recruiter and if you don’t feel confident to have a conversation at that time, try to schedule a new meeting in the near future.Also try to get as much information as possible (the recruiter’s name, the position and/or company and/or job description you are contacted about) to prepare yourself for your next phone call.
  2. In order to stay in control of the conversation, you can indicate that you will call back at a later point in time. Leave enough room for the recruiter to call you in the meantime if he or she wants to, but secure your next point in the conversation.
  3. Don’t call your recruiter every single day, and don’t expect an instant reply either. Don’t even expect a reply the same day. Recruiters are often on a tight schedule.
    Try to help your recruiter as much as possible by leaving your contact details and by giving him or her the opportunity to wait for your next call. You and your recruiter are on the same team. Help each other as much as possible!

Don’t underestimate the power of a phone call!

Good telephone skills are critical to your success! In our last article we discussed how you can record and use your own voicemail message to make a great impression and to invite recruiters to leave a message. In this article we discussed tips to leave a compelling voicemail message in your recruiter’s mailbox.

Do you have any questions or suggestions regarding telephone skills and their impact on your job search and your further career? Please feel free to share them through the contact form below this article.

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2 replies
  1. Susan Gustavson says:

    Very nice write up! I’ve been looking for some different out of the box ideas to ace the whole interview process.
    It’s been hard to find some decent tips about this subject so I can’t thank you enough.
    Leaving a voicemail is a great idea and I also found out that a follow up email after interview also pushes your candidacy to the next level.
    Again, thanks for the article and keep it up.

  2. Ryan Winner says:

    Resume writer provide a the best professional resume writers questions or suggestions regarding telephone skills and their impact on your job search and your further career and interview.


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