Most of today’s job searching and communication is done through the internet. While the blossoming of job boards like Monster and Careerbuilder has made it easier to find relevant jobs and facilitated easy communication with employers, it has also created a new set of rules concerning etiquette. It’s very important to communicate your professionalism through your email correspondence, and failing to do so could jeopardize your chances of getting the position before the hiring manager even has the opportunity to look at your resume. Keeping these etiquette tips in mind while writing and sending emails can help save you from eliminating yourself from the candidate pool.
- Unlike a formal letter sent via post, it is unnecessary to include the date, your address, and the recipient’s address at the top of the email. All of your important contact information should be included in your email signature at the conclusion of your email. Putting this information at the top of your email will make you appear out of touch with current etiquette.
- Emails shouldn’t just be one long paragraph of words. The format of your email should mirror that of a regular letter. Make sure to use clearly defined paragraphs, indentions, and correct grammar and spellings. When in doubt, look it up
- Hiring managers don’t have time to read long emails from job candidates. While including all relevant and important information, your emails should be direct and to the point. Remember, most hiring managers use an email services such as Outlook or Lotus Notes, which show a preview (usually the first three inches) of the email before it is opened. Focus on including all relevant and important information in those first three inches.
- Don’t share your email account with a sibling or spouse. Employers are not impressed when they see they’ve received an email from “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
- The subject line of your email is like the title of a book – it should draw people in and encourage them to open it and learn more about what’s inside. Failing to put anything in the subject line or having a generic line won’t provoke the recipient to look any further.
- Email etiquette is more than just monitoring what you type. Your email should look as professional as the content you include. Emails should not be a strange font, especially one that’s hard to read. Words in all capital letter and bold font do not indicate enthusiasm or importance, but rather unprofessionalism. Another thing to avoid in your email format is the use of a “stationary” look; emails that have background images or cute pictures included do not communicate that you are a serious candidate.
- Do not mass email your resume and cover letter to several employers. Bcc-ing is not an option either. Your resume and cover letter should be tailored to each position and employer in order to increase your chances of being selected for an interview.
- Lastly, make sure that the email account from which you are communicating is appropriate. Using your current work email address or an email address that gives you a negative image (email@example.com) will immediately ruin any chances you had of being considered as a serious candidate.
You’ve worked hard to build your resume and put a lot of effort into finding the right job for you. Don’t let simple mistakes in judgment negate your efforts.
Written by Katie Fidler
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