Spell it, don’t just say it!

When you’re leaving a voicemail, it’s common etiquette and courtesy to speak clearly, stay brief and concise and say your name and number–slowly!–at the beginning and end of the call.

At least, this all should be common etiquette, as this post by AvidCareerist also shows. How many times have you had to replay a v-mail just to scribble down the phone number or decipher the caller’s name?

I would like to add another tip. If you’re also leaving your email and it’s attached to a corporate address, spell it out–all of it.

Where did this come from? I received a cold call v-mail from a recruiter with Company X. He said his name and number at the beginning and end. He also repeated the name of his company several times.

Great, right? The trouble was that I just could not understand the company name. I had not only never heard of it before, it sounded like he pronounced it slightly differently each time. Phonetic awareness was at an all-time low.

At the end of the message, he left his email as an additional form of contact. He thoughtfully spelled out his name on the email–but didn’t spell out the company name attached to it.

That’s a fail.

I like to research companies before I return cold calls, so I found this a little annoying. Sure, I can probably find out on LinkedIn based on his name alone, but what if he’s not on LinkedIn (it happens)? Somehow the whole thing just didn’t leave me with a good impression of him overall. That might be unfair, but to me he shouldn’t have assumed I even knew his company existed in the first place.

So here’s my big ol’ tip: When it doubt, spell it out. Don’t assume the person on the other end of the line knows who you are or what you’re talking about. When you’re doing anything career or job-search related, you want to make it dead easy for people to find you. So even if it seems redundant or silly, if you’re leaving a message with contact info and you’ve got an email address that doesn’t end in “yahoo” or “gmail,”  make someone’s day and just spell the whole thing out!

What do you think? Legitimate pet peeve or a mere “meh” on the Annoyance Scale?

(Phone courtesy of Askville Amazon. Spelling Cat from Cheezburger.)

2 thoughts on “Spell it, don’t just say it!

  1. I agree. When a caller goes to the trouble of carefully enunciating and spelling it makes me want to call them back right away out of appreciation. Someone gave me a great tip a few years ago. Call your own number and leave yourself a message to assess your pace and pronunciation. When I did this I discovered I used to slur my name almost unrecognizably — and I didn’t even know it.


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