Consider Your Phone Manners

I’m in texting purgatory. My daughter and I are sharing a cell phone—it’s complicated—and I’ve been getting text messages from her friends almost every five minutes. I don’t want to respond to them. However, I want her friends to stop texting me…her. I wish I could leave a text announcement on my phone telling her friends that she is not available this week and to stop texting for the love of God.

This whole mess makes me think about how some jobseekers answer their phone, or the announcement they leave on their machine, and how important it is to do it right.

Answering the phone is crucial in making a great first impression. As a jobseeker you must consider that you’re on call every moment of the day and, in some occasions, evening. Sometimes there’s no telling when the phone interview will happen. This means you must be polite and upbeat 24/7.

If this is basic information to you, let me tell you about a time I called a customer of mine. When she answered my call, her tone was rude and she acted as if I was the last person she wanted to talk to. We chatted briefly and hung up. After, I thought that if I had been an employer, she never would have stood a chance.

On the other hand, I had a customer who answer the phone, “Good morning this is Jane Belle (not real name). How may I help you?” My goodness was I impressed. Her greeting was professional and her tone was upbeat and friendly. Had I been an employer, I would have invited her in for an interview for a job that didn’t even exist.

I’ve heard some cell phones that have a ring tone which plays Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Ozzie, or any rock band you’d like. “All aboard! Ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaa!” Cool? No; not cool. If you’re in the job hunt, get rid of the obnoxious ring tone. This includes any Looney Tune songs, an announcement that includes a rundown of your whole family and the family pet. Your phone announcement is a reflection on your personality. Instead, leave an announcement that is professional and to the point. Always state your name and telephone number so the potential employer knows she reached the correct person. Now is not the time to be secretive in fear of people actually knowing they reached the right person.

When you leave a voicemail on an employer’s phone, clearly announce your name and telephone number at the beginning of your message. Follow this with your reason for calling; and if you are applying for a job at the company, explain why you are the person they want. Include a brief commercial while you’re at it. Lastly leave your name and telephone number, speaking slowly and deliberately.

Finally, if you happen to reach the person with whom you’d like to speak, be prepared to talk with the person. Some employers answer their phone, believe it or not, particularly before and after working hours. The hiring manager may think her husband is calling at 6:00 pm, but the person calling could be you, the next one she hires.

There goes my phone again. I don’t know if I can leave an announcement on it; but if I could, I wouldn’t want to offend any of my daughter’s friends. That would be plain rude.

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