Published by The College of Liberal and Professional Studies
Telephone Do’s and Don’ts for The Prospective Student
Here in the recruitment area of LPS, we are tasked with assisting all prospective students who are seeking admission to various programs. It’s unbelievably rewarding work, but given the breadth of programs that we offer through LPS there is rarely a time of year when we’re not working against several admissions deadlines simultaneously. That said, there’s never a dull moment in the daily life of an LPS Recruitment Specialist. We’re constantly juggling multiple phone lines at once, responding to emails, taking walk-in appointments, and traveling to on- and off campus recruitment events.
I thought I’d share with you some tips for what to do—and what not do—when you leave voice messages for the recruitment team. Given that we receive anywhere from 50 to 75 voice messages per week, we spend a good bit of time listening to these messages—often more than once to retrieve all of the necessary information.
Voice Message Do’s
- DO provide your telephone number – this might be the #1 reason why we don’t return your call. Often times we get a full name, description of what the caller is looking for, the date and time of the call – but no number to return the call. It may seem obvious, but it happens more frequently than you might imagine!
- DO give us your correct telephone number. I’d have to say this is likely to be the #2 reason why you don’t hear back from us. Callers will give us telephone numbers with no area code, 8 or 9 digit telephone numbers, or even repeat their number twice but give two different numbers by accident! Correct numbers are guaranteed a call back.
- DO leave a little bit to the imagination, so to speak. In a perfect world, all voice messages would be somewhere between 30 and60 seconds, include a name and correct telephone number, and provide a distinct question in one or two sentences. Voice messages that go on for, say, five minutes or more – well, let me just say that this caller is only going to have to repeat all of that information again!
Voice Message Don’ts
- DON’T mumble or talk in a low voice. Though we in the recruitment office pride ourselves on having uncanny listening skills, hearing is a whole different story. Since people tend to be very comfortable and familiar with their own first and last names they tend to rush through that portion of the voice message. This makes it extremely difficult to decipher that information.
- DON’T pronounce “post-baccalaureate” as “post-bachelorette”! You’ll still receive a return phone call, but is more common than you might think. Let’s think about this, shall we? We go to great lengths to be all-encompassing here at LPS. Would we ever offer an academic program that is open only to female students who have gotten married and are, therefore, a “post-bachelorette”?
- DON’T scream or yell into the phone. Though the mumbler/low-talker may be difficult to understand, the yeller/screamer causes physical discomfort to the recruiter’s ear drum. (Not to mention that, as you know, yelling at anyone who’s there just to help you—whether it’s getting into Penn or waiting on you in a restaurant—might not be a good idea.)