Presidential Transition = New Buzzwords in Corporate America...
A Telling Stat If You're Looking For a Job...

Press '1' To Eliminate Yourself Immediately As a Candidate...

First up, I'm a Gen X'er, so don't tell me I don't understand because I am too old... Is being in your 30's too old now?

Why do seemingly quality candidates insist on leaving inappropriate greetings on their voice mail?  Do theyVoice_mail_ understand recruiters like me might call their number and get voice mail?

I've been known to be hard on voice mail.  If I am calling a candidate off a resume and get voice mail, I treat it like a freebie.  Good energy and kind of dynamic sounding in your voice mail greeting?  Cool, I'm more interested than I was when I called.  Sound depressed and seem like the whole thing takes too much energy?  I'm out - you lost the opportunity.  I rate your voice mail - if you are rated 5 or worse, you'll never hear from KD again..

Just called a strong candidate back after a phone interview to set up a face-to-face session.  Hadn't gotten her voice mail yet in the process.  Got it this time - BAM!!!  I'm treated to 30 seconds of a profane Notorious B.I.G track before the innocent, professional voice I was expecting comes through over the track during the chorus.  Professional position, 50-60K job.  Bye-Bye...

It would be the same deal whether it was Marilyn Manson or Larry the Cable Guy.  Market to me, the recruiter.  Don't take risky chances with your brand when I call. 



Sounds a little harsh KD. So why does that exclude a candidate--why does that make her unable to perform the job and represent your company well? Could you be missing out? Have you been burnt in the past? Has your test been validated over time? ~All rhetorical question, just thinking out loud.

Michael D. Haberman, SPHR

I agree with you Kris. That is the same reason you don't use a "play" email address for business responses. [email protected] is not going to be too impressive on your resume.

Jennifer McClure

First - You're only not "too old" in your 30's if you are someone in your 30's or older. For everyone below that - yes you're old. :)

Great advice on the voicemail. Candidates need to take advantage/make sure everything in their toolkit is working in their favor with all of the competition that is out there today. Your voicemail message, your email address (just got an email from a senior level candidate that showed up as Daddy-O), how you dress for networking events, etc. It all counts. For those that say you're being too harsh - don't hate the playa - hate the game. Don't take chances with your career future!

Kim Bailey

I have to be honest...when I am desperate for a candidate in a role I've had trouble filling, I tend to overlook some of the signs (like crazy voicemails) that normally would raise a red flag for me. Whether it is fair or not, since people really prepare for interviews and have professionals help with resumes, sometimes the only true sense of a person comes with small things, like the voice mail. If you don't like what you hear there, it is more likely that you are hearing a more true self than what you heard in the interview.

I will acknowledge that what a person does on his/her own time often is different than how they present themselves at work. Meaning, a crazy email does not a crazy employee make. However, it should at the very least be part of the picture you get about the person and what might come out in the workplace sooner or later. Simply dismissing it would be to not acknowledge a part of their personality.

By the way, stop warning people! How else will I really see who they are???


As a fellow Gen-X recruiter, I am in complete and total agreement with your post. Nothing irritates me more than the songs or childish sayings on voicemail. I also hate the [email protected] email addresses. Hello? What are you thinking?! I have actually let a few candidates know my take, especially when they are young college grads who apparently don't know any better.

Crystal Peterson

Great post. I agree, a bad voicemail or crazy e-mail address - that's like typos in your cover letter. Bad representation of your brand. You're the CEO of your brand and should take a little more time to make sure the image you're presenting is the one you want to present - across all mediums.

I agree on both accounts, voicemail and email, my favorite email address was a rehire with the email addy of [email protected], I actually called her and let her know that she might want to open an email specifically for job hunting.

I would like to add a pet peeve or two regarding online recruiting...

Make sure that your resume is in a readable format, not every company has upgraded to office 2007, no one uses wordperfect (seriously), and any other off beat extension could cause your resume to be dropped.

Title your resume document accordingly, don't title it resume.doc, or summer resume,

Make sure your name is in the title of the document because again the resume could be lost.



I agree with Kris, voicemail is very telling. Who has the time or even wants to sit through an entire song before leaving the message? Why isn't this stuff taught in school?

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