When you're leaving a voicemail, it's important to represent yourself professionally. If you want to be taken seriously, you must know how to leave a message correctly, what to say and how to end your message.

How to Leave a Voicemail

You are likely leaving a message requesting a callback, so the way you present yourself on the phone will impact the chance of the person calling back. Make sure you know what you're going to say before you even make the phone call. Start off by saying your name and your company's name or the company you're calling from. Be sure to say your phone number twice so the receiver has enough time to write the number down.

If you have a unique name, spell it as you give your phone number the first time. Even if you're nervous, talk slowly as if you were writing the information down. Talking fast may confuse the person you're trying to contact. A voicemail should be no more than 30-to-45 seconds long. Get straight to the point of your call.

Practice Professionalism as You End a Phone Message

Although it's good to get to the point of a phone message, you never want to just say your name, number and tell the person to call back. There needs to be more information. You must describe in a brief way why you're calling. After you leave your information, you can tell the person what time you will be available until but also let him know he can call at his convenience.

Leave your number at the end of the message, requesting a call but also mentioning you will try again tomorrow. Nothing shows more dedication than trying again.

Always end with appreciation such as saying thank you. Another way you could end the call is to tell him you know he's busy but you'd appreciate a call back. Whichever way you choose to end your voicemail, make sure you smile as you say it. A mouth that is frowning has a different sound than a smiling mouth. People can sense if someone is happy and smiling on the other line, so smile if you want an increased chance of a callback.

How to End a Voicemail Greeting

As you're setting up your voicemail greeting for your office-closed voicemail message, avoid overplayed phrases such as, "Your call is important to me." Start your greeting by apologizing you missed their call, give an estimated time frame when callers can expect a callback and anything else that is important for them to know. Keep your greeting short and to the point, so your callers are more likely to leave a message. The average greeting should be around 25 seconds.

An example of a voicemail greeting could be, "Hi, You have reached (business name). I'm sorry I missed your call. Please leave your name and best phone number you can be reached at. I will get back to you within 24 hours. Thank you."