If you’re searching for a new job or establishing yourself in your career, having a professional voicemail greeting can leave a good impression on potential employers or clients. However, knowing how to set up a professional voicemail can be tricky. Learn what to say in your business voicemail to maximize your professional opportunities.
What Makes a Voicemail Greeting Professional?
Knowing what makes a voicemail professional is difficult for those entering the workforce. Fortunately, most professional voicemails follow the same set of rules.
Polite and Friendly
It may seem obvious, but be polite. Speak clearly and leave out anything that could seem unprofessional or impolite to potential employers or clients.
Ideally, your tone will be based on your industry. If you work in a highly professional field, keep your tone straightforward and avoid being casual. On the other hand, if your workplace is more laidback, a lighthearted business voicemail will work and even help you establish your personal brand.
Contains the Necessary Information
Callers want to know that they’ve reached the right person and when they can expect to hear back from you.
Short and Sweet
It’s true that you have to fit a lot of information into your voicemail greeting, but lengthy, overly detailed messages aren’t professional. Generally, your business voicemail should last between 10 and 30 seconds, but no longer than that.
What to Include in Your Voicemail Greeting
While you can structure your business voicemail any way you want, remember that people call you for professional reasons, not personal ones. Therefore, your voicemail should include all necessary information.
Your Name and Company Information
Start with a quick greeting, your first and last name, job title, and company name. This helps the caller ensure that they’ve reached the right person. (If you’re unemployed or applying for new jobs, it’s okay to leave out your company information.)
If you have specific office hours, state your office hours in your voicemail. That way, callers who contact you outside your regular office hours will know when they can reach you.
Appreciative Yet Apologetic
Ideally, your voicemail should sound appreciative of the call yet sorry for being unable to pick it up. You don’t have to explain why you’re not answering the phone, but you want the underlying message to be, “Sorry I missed you.”
Estimated Response Time
Give callers a general idea of when you’ll call them back. For example, say you’ll call them back within 24 to 48 hours or during your regular business hours.
Alternative Contact Information
If there’s another way for the caller to reach you, like your work email address, share that in your voicemail. Depending on the situation, you may also direct the caller to contact someone else.
For instance, you might give your boss’ contact information if you’re out of the office or direct the caller to dial the main office or an emergency line instead.
An Invitation to Get in Touch
At the end of your voicemail, encourage the caller to contact you. Ask them to leave their phone number and a brief message or to reach out to you over the alternative communication channel you provided, like email.
Examples of Professional Voicemail Greetings
There are many ways to structure a business voicemail. Check out these examples for ideas.
Meghan is a Resident Director at her local university. She lives on campus, so she’s usually reachable, but not always.
- “Hello, you’ve reached the office of Resident Director Meghan Takahashi. Unfortunately, I am unable to take your call at the moment. If you need help immediately, please call campus security at (555) 555-5018. Otherwise, please leave a message, and I’ll return your call as soon as possible. Thanks, and have a great day!”
Hayden runs a small landscaping company with set hours. Since most of the employees, including Hayden, are relatively young, Hayden wants to be perceived as professionally as possible.
- “Thank you for calling Hayden Howell at Springfield Landscaping. Our business hours are from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Please leave a brief message, and we’ll return your call during normal business hours.”
Dwayne is a freelance designer. One of his current gigs involves frequent travel, so he doesn’t have consistent office hours.
- “Hi, you’ve reached freelance designer Dwayne Roth. I’m sorry, but I’m unable to take your call at the moment. Please contact me over email for the fastest response times, and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours. Thank you!”
Improve Your Job Opportunities with JobsFuel
When you’re new to the work world, figuring out professional norms can be tricky. That’s where JobsFuel can help. Browse our blog for tips on navigating the work world as a new employee. Whether you need assistance finding a job or establishing yourself in your career, you can rest assured that our work resources will work for you.