Voice Messages 101

It may seem crazy to dedicate a blog post to voicemails, but given what my observations have taught me, it’s not actually not as silly.

Even if your job is not that of a Voicemail Specialist, as a recent graduate you should always remember that little things matter. Attention to detail will take you a long way because better communication is key to better relationships, personal as well as professional.

So let’s get right to it. A big part of telephone etiquette is the art of leaving good voice messages. People often forget the purpose of leaving someone a message. Hence, they forget the important details, which are: Clarity and brevity. Following is a sample step-by-step template that you could use to ensure you’ve covered all your bases.

  • Start by stating who you are, full name please, and where you are calling from, i.e., the company or the department.
  • Next, state the current date AND time. Now, I know that most voicemail services provide an option for the listener to check the date and time. However, most people are too busy to use it. This information is an important piece of the puzzle though. So just do it. It’ll take 2 seconds.
  • Continue by telling them why you’re calling, Whether you are returning a call or posing a question, state it clearly, and concisely. This is a voicemail, which means your time is limited. Be quick so you can finish before the machine cuts you off. Don’t rush though, the person on the other line needs to be able to understand you. It’s a good practise to say the message in your mind once or twice before making the call. You can do it while the phone is still ringing.
  • Lastly, give them your contact information. State your phone number loud and clear. I always repeat my phone number twice, just in case they misheard the first time. Doesn’t hurt! If there is a particular time that you can be reached at, tell them that as well.

Here’s what a voicemail could sound like:

“Hi! This is Harvey Spector, calling from Suits. It’s 11 in the morning, Tuesday, the 26th. And I’m calling about the Hessington Oil merger deal with Darby International and I was wondering when the package would be delivered. You can reach me at 607.341.5081. That’s six o seven, three four one, five zero eight one. Thanks!”


Small considerations, such as the professionalism in your voicemail, do not go unnoticed and in the long run, they will reap benefits. When you’re starting out in a new career, just remember this:

Everything you do, do it whole-heartedly and passionately. All else will fall into place. 

Good luck!