How Voicemail Greetings and Email Addresses Affect Your Job Search

by Alyssa Perkins-Chatterton, Administrative Assistant for the College team

When looking for a job we all know that first impressions and professionalism are very important. However, many people often overlook the image they are portraying to potential employers when it comes to their voicemail greetings and email addresses.

First, let’s discuss the power of a professional email address. Your email address is always listed on your resume as an avenue to contact you. Employers are going to take you more seriously and think of you in a much more professional manner if you list a professional email versus let’s say, Let’s face it, it’s fun to have a silly email address but that is not what employers are looking for. Instead you should use an email that incorporates the name you use professionally or even your Penn email.

Now that your resume (and professional email address) has passed the screening and impressed the recruiter or hiring manager, let’s make sure your voicemail will represent you in the best way possible. Unless you are expecting a call from a number that you know, most people just let the call go to voicemail. That is okay, however, I find that many people fail to set up their voicemail in the first place. If this is the case, how is an employer going to reach you to let you know they are interested? There are many talented candidates vying for the same spots so you wouldn’t want to miss out on an opportunity just because you hadn’t set up your voicemail, or your voicemail is full. Many people also leave the generic robot message that the phone comes with. Example: “You have reached 123-456-7891. Leave your message at the tone.” While this is fine, it is always nice to put some personal touch to your message. That being said, your “personal touch” should be professional. Do not rap your voicemail message to the tune of your favorite Jay Z song or make a haiku. While this may be funny and entertaining to your friends and family, a potential employer would hear that and think twice about even picking up the phone in the first place. Remember, it is important to convey a professional tone to potential employers so just record a concise message saying who they reached and that you will get back to them as soon as possible.

Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

Author: Alyssa Perkins-Chatterton

Alyssa Perkins-Chatterton is the administrative assistant for the College of Arts & Sciences team in Career Services.