Catching the interest of a recruiter or potential employer is typically the first step to landing a job. In many instances, the first time they learn about you is through an email, so it’s important to portray yourself professionally and practice the simple rules of email etiquette.
Follow our tips before crafting your next email!
1. Set up a new email account
- Creating a job-specific email account can help ensure that responses don’t get lost in your email box or marked as spam or junk email. Make sure to keep your address professional by listing your full name, possibly including numbers if your name is more common as in this example: John.Doe.email@example.com.
2. Create an email signature
- It’s important to always include your contact information, which should contain your full name, email and phone number(s). Just remember to avoid overly-cute email signatures with quotes or pictures that may come off as unprofessional.
3. Write specific subject lines
- A recruiter or potential employer likely receives several dozen emails a day, so it’s important to quickly state what your email is about in the subject line. For example, “Networking for healthcare jobs in Atlanta.” It’s also a good idea to revise future subject lines once the topic changes, such as, “Interview availability for Atlanta job.”
4. Cc when appropriate
- When sending an email to multiple recipients, reserve the “To” line for recipients who need to take action. Use the “Cc” line for recipients who only need to be aware of the information.
5. Keep it short and sweet
- Write brief and concise emails -- but be sure to highlight why the recipient would be interested in following up with you specifically!
6. Be overly polite
- Email humor can be misread, so refrain from jokes and emoticons to ensure your tone and intent are clear. Don’t underestimate the power of a simple “How are you?”, “Please” and “Thank you!”
7. AVOID ALL CAPITAL LETTERS!!
- There’s no need to yell at your email recipient, so be sure to only use regular sentence case. If you want to emphasize a few words, italicize or bold them, but use that format sparingly.
8. Spell-check, spell-check, spell-check!
- Set up your email account to automatically correct grammar, spelling and punctuation errors and always read over emails before sending.
9. Send resumes as Word attachments
- When sending your resume via email, the body copy of your message should be a teaser to get the recipient to first, open the attachment, and then contact you for details. Don’t overcomplicate your message by copy and pasting the text of your resume or sending a PDF attachment.
10. Always follow-up!
- Once your email recipient replies back to your original message, if you don’t have time to respond to an email fully, at least reply back that you’ve received it and let the person know when you’ll have time to elaborate. If you’ve made it past the interview stage, don’t forget to send your “thank you” email within the next 24 hours to all interviewers expressing your continued interest.
Now you have the knowledge needed to successfully reach out to an employer or recruiter! But remember, it’s not just about the email. Following up an email with a phone call conveys a sense of urgency and interest, and also gives you the opportunity to let them know ideal times when you’re available to connect.
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