Email is a very important part of any job search, and it is important to know etiquette do’s and don’ts when you are engaged in looking for a job. Here are four key tips regarding email.
1. Set Up an Email Account Specifically for Your Search
You need to set up an email account specifically for a job search, for two reasons. First, you want the organizations to know your name. Many people use phrases in their personal email addresses, such as firstname.lastname@example.org. A human resources specialist does not know who “mojodaddy” is. (Plus, it doesn’t sound professional in a business.) You need an email that gives an identifiable last name and first name, such as email@example.com. Without it, you run the risk of being overlooked, or your material being kicked out by an automated system.
Second, never use your business email account to look for a job. It is not considered a good thing to look for a job on company time. Even if you are doing it on your own time, many businesses monitor their email, so they can see you are looking for a job. It is better if an employer does not know until you are ready to tell them.
2. Send Material to a Specific Email
Many times job postings give a general email to send resumes, cover letters and other application materials to. Or you might be submitting to a system that requires you to attach material.
It is far more effective to send those materials to a specific person. It lessens the chance the materials will be overlooked in the system or passed on by an automated system or a human resources representative before a hiring manager sees it. If you can, find an email address for the person you would be reporting to. Check websites and LinkedIn for either the name or title to see if they are publicly available.
3. Use a Clear Subject Line
Clear subject lines could be, “Application for Software Engineer Position” or “Response to IT Technician Posting.” Both of these clearly tell the recipient it is a response to a job opening. Contrast it with a vague subject line, such as “My Resume” (for what? who are you?) or even the too-informal “Hey.”
Hiring managers and human resources professionals are very busy. Clear subject lines make it easier for them to expedite their tasks. You want to do that, because it indicates you will be a good employee.
4. Write in Business Letter Style
Many people write informally in emails, using emoticons, abbreviations and slang. Do not do this in a job application email! Business emails are business letters, they just happen to be emails because that’s how most business communication is done now.
So, use a salutation (Dear X) and a closing (Sincerely). Write in full sentences. Be clear and to the point. Do not use emojis or slang. Be respectful of the recipient and their position.
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