Crew Lounge HomePilot Interview Prep: Update Your Voicemail Greeting
Pilot Interview Prep: Update Your Voicemail Greeting
BJJ Crew
BJJ Crew

As a pilot doing your due diligence and pilot interview preparation, you've set up a personal profile. You've dialed in your corporate pilot resume. The next step is to update your voicemail greeting and manage incoming calls. Perhaps you set up your voicemail greeting when you got your cell phone, and haven't updated it since. Or, maybe you're the type who updates your voicemail greeting regularly to reflect the seasons, your personality or mood. But chances are good you didn't consider the impression something as simple as your voicemail greeting can make on a potential employer when they call you for the interview. What your voicemail greeting sounds like can have a profound impact on a potential employer. It's another aspect of phone etiquette and pilot interview preparation: if there's music blaring in the background and you're using the latest slang, you might come across as young, irresponsible or a party animal. If your voice is dry, flat and devoid of personality, you might brand yourself as "boring" and lacking the people skills needed for a corporate pilot job. Either way, when they get your voicemail greeting your potential employer expects to hear the voice of someone who is glad they called, and sounds professional over the phone.

Here are some quick Do's and Don'ts for that initial contact with a prospective employer:

  • Don't make your voicemail greeting any longer than necessary. For example, don't make the caller listen to your favorite song before they can leave their message. This can be frustrating, annoying and a time-waster when an employer is going through a list of phone numbers quickly and could pigeon-hole you as unprofessional.
  • Don't let your child do your voicemail greeting. Your 3-year-old is adorable, but can be difficult to understand. For the time being, swap out your greeting for something more professional. You can switch it back after you get the job.
  • Do create a voicemail greeting that is professional, competent, and friendly. Keep your voicemail greeting to 30 seconds or less, eliminate background noise, and offer an alternative way to contact you, such as your email address.
  • Do let the caller know they’ve reached the right person. You can say, “Hi, this is Joe Pilot. Please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.” Or you can simply confirmed that they've reached the right number: “You’ve reached 555-555-1234. Thank you for calling, please leave a message.”
  • Do show some enthusiasm, thank the person for calling and let them know you'll get back to them as soon as possible. “Hi, this is Joe Pilot. I appreciate your call, but I am not available right now. Please leave a message and I will call you back soon.” You might even say "I will get back to you in one business day," but only if you plan to deliver on this promise.
  • Do make sure you periodically empty your voicemail. Another frustrating time-waster for your potential employer is calling you only to be unable to leave a message. It could cost you the job.
  • Do specify the number of rings it takes a caller to leave a voicemail. This can be found in the voicemail options menu of most phones. (You can usually find a how-to for your specific device by Googling.)
  • Do make sure your cell phone is on. When you're waiting for a call from a potential employer, it's a good idea to keep your cell phone on. Especially if you sleep odd hours or are currently employed and can't take calls during business hours, consider turning off your ringer rather than turning off your phone to keep a better record of who has called and get back to them more promptly. For actively flying pilots, this can get tricky as phones are often off during flight. Depending on how important your job search is to you, consider setting up Google Voice. This service can forward your calls to cell phones and land lines simultaneously (rings multiple phones), and keeps a record of all missed calls. Google Voice also includes visual voicemail, explained in the next bullet. can help you set up Google Voice, just give us a call.
  • Do set up a free visual voicemail (transcribing) app. If you really want to get technical, consider setting up an app that transcribes your voicemail to email or text. This is great for folks who aren't regularly checking their voicemail. Business News Daily did a good piece on 5 apps you might consider.

A few tips for when you do answer your phone:

  • Don’t be in a very noisy store or out of breath on the treadmill at the gym when you answer your cell phone. If your cell is your primary number, be aware of the incoming number, who it might be, where you are and what you’re doing when you answer the phone. If you’re going to answer the call of a recruiter or hiring manager, . If you’re not already in a quiet spot, it might be better to let it go to voicemail so that you can get to somewhere appropriate to call back.
  • Do coach others on how to answer your land line. If you're using a land line number on your resume and have people in your home who will be answering the phone, make sure they know how to take a message in a professional manner. Children sometimes don’t know how to or don't remember to answer the phone politely, can’t find a pencil to write down a phone number, or give out too much information like the parent is in the shower or sleeping.

Try it right now: call the number you have listed on your corporate pilot resume and put yourself in the shoes of your ideal aviation boss. Will they like what they hear when they get your voicemail? If not, change it. Update it to something professional and engaging, and set yourself up to get that corporate pilot job.

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BJJ Crew
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