Job hunting has been simplified and made more efficient thru the use of email. Job seekers can apply to dozens of jobs without talking to an actual person or mailing a resume. Go to any job board and you can apply for positions via email in seconds. However, when applying for jobs thru email it’s important to remember to use proper email etiquette as you submit your applications. So what is email etiquette? It’s simply ensuring the emails you send are appropriate, complete and properly formatted. I came across an article by Jane Hurst on Glassdoor, 9 Job Seeker Email Etiquette Tips to Help You Land the Job, that gives a great overview on items to consider. Many are common sense but some are items that many job seekers neglect in their emails such as signatures.
Before you start applying to jobs via email consider the email address you are using. If you use a personal email address make sure the email address is appropriate. Email addresses containing non-business phrases such as “beachbum” and “sportsfan123” don’t come across as professional and are not appropriate for use. You should use a dedicated business email address for your job search and if you don’t have one then set one up. There are many options for setting up email accounts, such as Gmail, that are free and easy to create. The added bonus of a dedicated email address is that it makes it easier to organize and manage your job search.
One of the most important etiquette items to consider is knowing who to send the application too. This sounds straight-forward but many job boards will have a default email address tied to each job. Do some research to find the name and title of a contact tied to that email address or another contact at the company. Whenever possible avoid using generic greetings such as “To whom it may concern”. When personalized the email has a better chance of reaching a decision maker than one sent to a generic email address that may contain hundreds of applications.
Formatting job application emails is an important consideration. You should not be using the same format that you use for casual emails. Job application emails should be formatted like a business letter. Your email will serve as your cover letter and should reflect the same standards including a salutation, letter body and a signature. Besides your first and last name, your signature should also include contact information and a link to your LinkedIn profile. Proofread your email carefully, there should be no spelling errors, grammatical errors, texting abbreviations or emojis.
While the email body will represent your cover letter it will not contain your resume text. Resumes are included as an attachment and not cut and pasted in the email body. Attached resumes should be in a PDF or MS Word format which are universal document formats. One important note – remember to actually attach your resume. It’s very common for many candidates to forget to send their resume attachment with the initial email. Having to send a second email with you resume does not give a very professional image.
With the casual use of email so prevalent it easy to forget that there are etiquette guidelines that you should be using. But if you keep your emails formatted and professional it can increase your chances of success in your job search.