Career Advice

Why Having a 10 Second Voicemail Could Damage Your Career

Posted by Stephanie
min read

Do you know what your voicemail message is on your mobile phone? If you haven't checked or are unaware, I suggest you call ‘yourself’ as there is a very good chance that you've ‘fallen victim’ to the notorious standard message, “The number you called is not available, please leave a quick 10 second message and we will convert your message to text and send it as a text message for you.

Whoever thought that 10 seconds was a sufficient amount of time to leave a voicemail was clearly kidding themselves. Such a short timeframe only permits leaving your name and number, and provides the receiver with absolutely no information why you called them. It's completely pointless for both parties. The receiver then has to call you back to find out what you wanted, (if at all) and then potentially come back to you again, because they needed to enquire about something before giving you an answer. Essentially, this inefficient voicemail system is doubling the work for both parties. When I encounter one of these voicemails, everyone in my office goes a little like this... 

"Hi this is Stephanie from people2people recruitment. The reason I'm calling you is [whatever that may be]...could you please call me back on." [Cuts off - BEEEEP]. "Uggghhh, for goodness sake!"  [hangs up with a groan]... I'll then have to redial, just to leave the second part of my message! Not many people will do this, as they will not have the patience, nor have the time to do so. You are risking that this person will take their business elsewhere. 

Sadly, it could be your professional profile which could be affected. It may be perceived that you don't seem to care enough about your personal brand, to set up useful voicemail and so can you expect others to take you seriously? What makes this system particularly frustrating is that audio to text conversions are highly unreliable. If you have an iPhone, have a play around with Siri. Do you think she accurately converts what you're saying into an SMS? 

Absolutely not! Messages are completely misconstrued, not to mention, highly impersonal. What's more, if you have an unusual name, then you're almost guaranteed that it will not translate correctly...and in such cases, the receiver well and truly has no idea who's even called them! Think about it this way...for every person who hangs up on your 10 second voicemail, that's business you may have lost forever... Rant over.