Take time to learn these basic guidelines to make it effective, professional and respectful of the person's busy schedule.

  • Keep it short (30 seconds or less).
  • Deliver only your name, reason for calling, the best times to reach you, and your phone number.
  • Show some understanding of how busy your contact is--it will increase your chances for a return call.
  • Choose a brief description of yourself that will pique your contact's interest.
  • Never leave a message indicating that you are job seeking and expect a callback.
  • If you leave a cell phone number, be aware that you may be receiving professional calls on your cell phone and answer accordingly.
  • Be sure your voice mail message on your phone is appropriate for a networking contact or potential employer to hear.