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Updated 05/31/2016

Practicing good communications skills will make a difference in your job search.  Employers realize the need for these skills in employees so show your skills even before an interview to improve your chances of being one of those chosen.



The mobile now cell phone has changed how and where we work.  Make certain your telephone is working well.  Land lines will normally provide the highest quality voice communications but many are no opting for cellular communications for mobility and potentially lower costs.

Some common problems people forget about with telephones:

Voice Mail

In our busy world, voice mail is essential to make maximum use of our time whether you are employed or not.  Whether it's allowing an important contact to reach you or filter our calls those unwanted or illegal calls, voice mail is important.

Voice mail has one big weakness:  It does not remind us if we forgot to sent up our "outbound" message or if the in-box is full of messages and can't hold any more.

It only takes a few seconds to call yourself and see if your messages still sound good, leave the needed impression to the caller, and if messages are being saved for you.  If any of this is not true, this is a problem for your job search.

RECRUITERS will often make first contact by telephone.  If there is no answer they leave a message.  IF someone answers they leave a message with a person (who may or may not share your urgency and importance of receiving their message in a timely manner).
Message Waiting lights on a phone or machine can burn out.

Recruiters call first to see if you are still available and interested.  If not they can move to the next candidate and ask them.  Time is money to them so waiting for you to return from a week's absence is not likely to happen.  Small desk top voice message records can be found at good prices that easily connect via standard cable and jack to your telephone or can be adapted with a special low cost jack.  Expenses for your job search may be eligible for a tax deduction on your Federal Tax Returns

Voice Mail Health Checks

1.  Test to confirm that
     unanswered phone calls are
     picked-up by your voice
     mail recorder or service.
     Assumptions can be costly.

2.  That your "outbound"
     announcement is clear, polite and free of unwanted noise and sounds
     like the professional you want to be perceived as being.  Electronics
     are not 100% reliable and often fail at the worst possible time.

3.  Can you understand the message left or are there problems
     preventing this (low or high volume, noise or hum, echo, etc.)?

1.  Include conformation the caller reached the correct phone number by
     stating your phone number.  This helps avoid confusion and lost
     opportunities for you by a message left for the wrong person.

2.  Your message may be something like: "Hello (this is Jane Jobseeker).
     I am sorry I cannot take your call right now but I do want to return
     you call at my first opportunity.  Please leave your name, telephone
     number, best times to return your call, and the nature of your call.  I
     look forward to talking to you soon!"

     So why is this important?  Simple!
     a)  this is a basic common courtesy to the caller showing you may
          be a good candidate to present and not some rude jerk.

     b)  confirms you desire to return their call.  This is a good business

     c)  by asking their best times to return their call, you have a better
          chance to reach them when a good discussion can take place
          and they be ready to take your call making it more productive
          for both of you.

     d)  remind the call to leave their telephone number and reason for
.  Some people forget these items then block their Caller ID
          leaving you unable to reach them.

3.  Periodically, call your phone with the answering system to see if is a
     quality voice recording that is delivered.  Some people have gone for
     months or years in the 
belief their calls were being answered and
     recorded.  Leave a test message to see if 
the inbound call is recorded
     clearly.  Confirm that a message indicator is activated 
(a light comes
     on or an announcement when you contact your voice mail system).
     The only certain means to confirm this starts by making a call to

4.  Record your outbound message in a good, quiet place when you are
     rested and relaxed as this can improve your voice quality.  You want
     to sound your best for these calls as this may be the first contact
     between you and a recruiter or hiring manager.  Insure there are no
     stray founds to distract your caller, no arguments in the background,
     pet noises, televisions or radios ... just total silence!  If you are
     nervous, write out what you need to say and repeat it until you are
     totally confident your message will be flawless in the words,
     pronunciation, voice tone, and pace!

The telephone is often the first or second way you will leave an impression.  Invest the time to insure it is the best it can be!