Ring, Ring! How to Leave a Professional Voicemail Message

After a couple of “blah” voicemail messages from students this week – including one where my student asked me to call them but didn’t leave a phone number! – I realized I better write a quick Tip Tuesday on the topic of leaving a proper message on someone’s voicemail.

When you call someone in a professional context (including your professors) and they don’t pick up, make sure you leave a clear voicemail that includes your name and your phone number. Unless you know this person well, make sure you also include how you know them. Speak very clearly, in an upbeat voice. Smiling while you talk may help, the idea is to sound energized and engaged. If you are nervous, write out a quick script beforehand. I always repeat my phone number a second time so that the receiver doesn’t have to listen to my message twice. If it’s important that the receiver know my last name, I often spell it out for them.

Example scripts:

“Hello, this is Emily Porschitz, I’m following up to make sure that you received the paperwork I sent to you on Sept. 1st. Please call me back at your convenience at 555-1234. Again, it’s Emily Porschitz, P-O-R-S-C-H-I-T-Z, at 555-1234. I look forward to speaking with you soon!”

“Hello, this is Emily Porschitz. We met briefly on Wednesday night at the Chamber of Commerce networking event and I’m following up with you as we discussed. Please give me a call back at your convenience at 555-1234. Again, it’s Emily, and my number is 555-1234. I look forward to speaking with you soon!”

“Hello, this is Emily Porschitz, I’m one of your advisees. I have several questions pertaining to my plans to study abroad next semester. Could you please call me back at 555-1234. Again, it’s Emily, and my number is 555-1234. I look forward to speaking with you soon!”