Monday, April 5, 2010

Phone Tip: When to Answer

Well Spring Break is over, so goodbye beach and hello real world. Here's a tip that came to me while vacationing last week with friends. Hope it helps with your job search!!

There we were, in a loud seafood restaurant on the coast of Florida. My roommate's cell phone started ringing, displaying an unknown number. Her gut reaction was to answer the call without a clue who might be on the other end of the line.

With second thought, she refrained and let the call go into voice mail, and good thing she did.

How would you respond? Of course it could have easily been a friend or personal acquaintance. But when the voice on the other end belongs to an employer, are you ready for a professional conversation...right here, right now? Are you in a quiet place? Without distractions?

Most likely, no. As students searching for jobs and internships, we can't afford to make poor impressions with potential employers. This topic has made for popular discussion in many of the professional development workshops and seminars I've attended so I wanted to share some tips I found as a student working in CAFNR Career Services.

Do answer unknown numbers professionally. Example: Hi, this is Jim.
Do have a brief, and informative voicemail message. Example: You've reached Molly. I can't answer my phone right now. Leave a message and I'll call you back.


Don't have caller tunes blaring while the recruiter waits for you to pick-up the call.
Don't have a rude greeting. Example: This is Tom. If you think it's important, leave a message. If not, I don't plan to call you back.
Don't answer the phone in loud surroundings like at a party, bar, or basketball game. Solution: let it hit your voicemail and listen to the message. Then you can call back when you're in an uninterrupted environment. Just be sure you're prompt with returning calls!

Hopefully these are easy and helpful tips. Do you have other tips I missed?

Editor's note: I originally posted this list for fellow students to read on the CAFNR Career Services blog.

1 comment:

  1. Ugh, big pet peeve for me with phone etiquette is answering your phone during a meal--text or call. In an age where our generation thinks it's okay to answer your phone whenever, this is incredibly unprofessional. It may be okay when you're with friends, it is DEFINITELY not okay when you're with employers. (And PS--your family probably doesn't like it either, even if they don't say anything!)