Technology has transformed how you search for a job. From online applications to online job postings to applicant tracking systems and keywords, so much has changed in the last few years.
Many employers now ask for electronic copies of your resume or application. If you don’t use an online application system that allows you to copy and paste your resume or to upload a file, you’ll likely be asked to email the document.
As with letter writing, there are certain rules of email etiquette you need to follow as a job seeker. These five tips will help you make a great first impression on any potential employer.
1. Send the Email to the Right Place
If at all possible, send your email to a specific person within a company. Many job postings will give the contact information for a specific person within the organization. Always double check you have the right address before you send the email.
If you’re sending the email to a specific person, be sure to address your note to them, and spell their name correctly.
If the job posting only makes note of a generic human resources or “careers” email address, send it there. Don’t seek out a specific person if they’re not named in the job posting.
2. Write a Brief, Formal Note
You don’t need to copy and paste your cover letter into the body of your email, but a brief note is required by email etiquette.
You can copy a few lines from the opening of your cover letter. Be sure to state what job you’re applying for, and where you saw it advertised. Close by thanking them for their time. You might even include a line like “I hope to hear from you soon” or “I look forward to your response.”
Be sure to be formal in this note. Treat it like it’s a business letter, and you’ll make a much better impression.
3. Check It Over Before You Hit “Send”
Email etiquette requires you to take some time with your note when you’re applying for jobs. Don’t just hit “send” because you want to be done with it sooner.
Pause to proofread your email, just like you would your resume. Make sure you’ve spelled the name of your contact, and the company, correctly. It’s a good idea to ensure you have the right job title as well.
Don’t forget to double check that you’ve attached the right file. Also make sure you’ve proofread, and updated your resume.
4. Be Patient
Once you’ve sent you email, you may get an automated response telling you that your application has been received. You also may not get this note. In either case, just wait.
While you’re waiting for a response or confirmation that your application was received, it can be tempting to send another email checking on the status of your job application. If you notice a mistake, you might be tempted to resend your application.
Be patient. You may think following up shortly after makes you look keen, but to the person receiving all these applications, it might be frustrating. If you haven’t heard back in the time frame outlined in a confirmation email, or about two weeks, you can send a polite followup.
5. Keep It Simple and Professional
You should be using a specific job search email address, and the address should appear professional. Don’t use a personal account.
Be sure to include a clear subject line, and a professional signature with your contact information.The email formatting should also be clear and easy to read.
Following these email etiquette tips makes it more likely your resume will be noticed and that you’ll stand out in the crowd.