The essential guide to spicing up your voicemail greeting (and why it’s important to do so)

Do you let your calls go into voicemail when you don’t recognize the number?

Of course you do! Those pesky bill collectors threatening to kidnap your dog until you pay the Sears card can really put a damper on your afternoon. Especially when you are in the middle of an eBay bidding war for an autographed David Sedaris book and trying to watch Oprah at the same time.

But wait. Do you let your calls go into voicemail when you do recognize the number?

Of course you do that too! Conversations with mom require a clear head, a calm disposition and a quick hang-up plan. And potential employers may very well be put off by your raspy morning voice at 3:30 in the afternoon.

Yet, you have the same message for all of the above. You should really take a moment to listen to your outgoing greeting to the world. Seriously. Do it now. You’ll be horrified.

I’ll wait right here.

Horrible right? Well, I’m here to tell you that it could be the final nail in your coffin. If a potential employer saw your inappropriate photos on Facebook, but still decided to give you the benefit of the doubt and is met by that voicemail greeting, well you can just kiss your career good-bye. And those creditors won’t be intimidated by your tiny voice with a rehearsed, “leave a message after the beep.”

Because I like to stay ahead of the curve on issues like this, I recruited the help of a friend, an expert at Voice Greeting No-No Auditing (VGNA). Mariaelena, author and publisher of some really great greetings, gave me a few tips and tricks to really help me sound engaging and interesting to all parties that I may or may not be avoiding. I recreated one of her lessons on my voicemail. Just call 305-523-9818.*

The idea behind a successful message is simple: be interesting. Mention a little tidbit about yourself. Like what kind of deodorant you use or that you don’t use deodorant at all. What you definitely don’t want to do is leave the standard greeting because it just shows that you are lazy and technologically challenged. It will also confuse your grandmother who soon after she’s dialed your number will not know who she called.

The relentless trend of customizing and personalizing everything is not exclusive to the hospitality and leisure industry. No. It can very well set you apart from others in your family, in your worker pool and in your top friend rating. You can use your voicemail as an advocate for the things you want. Imagine the possibilities you would open up for yourself if you were to simply scream at the top of your lungs: “I’m Poor!” on your machine. I bet that between the two friends that call you, your mom and your grandmother, they will send you a collective $32.18 for no reason. Oh, and think of that HR lady’s heart-strings you will pull when she calls to invite you in for an interview. She might just offer you the job right then and there.

For more information on this method or to inquire about Mariaelena’s service to spice up your voicemail greeting, simply call 305-523-9818* and leave a message.

*Seriously, call it. I promise. It’s not a trick. My mom or one of my unsuspecting friends are not on the other end.

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Published by Mari

I was born with a widow's peak and a thick accent. I majored in English as a second language. I work ( and travel ( and sometimes do both.

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