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5 Email Etiquette Tips For Job Seekers

5 Email Etiquette Tips For Job Seekers

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The art of communicating by email has become the norm nowadays. Most job recruiters now prefer sending and receiving emails, rather than making phone calls, because it’s easier to keep a digital record of contacts. However, by doing this recruiters get a ton of emails each day, and small email mistakes can instantly take you out the running for that new job. We don’t want that.

Related: E-mail Etiquette Matters During Your Career Search

Put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter for a second. After opening up hundreds of emails a day, seeing mistakes in emails can instantly turn off him or her from reading the rest of your email. So, in order to avoid that, what do you need to do?

1. Read The Instructions

You wouldn’t believe how many emails are sent to me pertaining to job postings that don’t follow the very easy instructions that I included. Simple things such as “include a link to the job posting” or “answer this question in the body of your email” are very easy to miss. Don’t be like these guys. When I was young(er) and job hunting, I used to get so eager to send an email that I just skimmed the instructions before sending it. Slow down, read everything, then read it again, and then send out that email.

2. Get Rid Of That Old Email Address

At a certain point in time, you’re going to outgrow your old email address of [email protected] Now that you’re all grown up, your email address needs to match your maturity. Nothing makes me cringe more than reading emails from prospective hires and then glancing at their email address and seeing that it’s clearly from their childhood. If you’re really attached to that old email address keep it for personal use, but create a professional email address that contains a combination of your first and last name. Along with looking professional, an email address with your name in it also immediately shows the recruiter who you are.

3. Spell Check

In your excitement from seeing a job posting that you’re qualified for and typing up that email for the recruiter, don’t forget to check your grammar and spelling in the email. Most browsers now have an automatic spell checker that will give you that red squiggly line we’re so accustomed to seeing from Microsoft Word. In these modern times, mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones come with autocorrect, but studies have shown that you shouldn’t always depend on autocorrect. So, double check your grammar and spelling, anyway.

4. Keep It Short

No one wants to read a long email. Even if you have a long lost friend who you haven’t seen in 10 years, you shouldn’t include everything you’ve done in those 10 years in the email. When emailing for a job, keep the email short and to the point. As wonderful as your background story might sound, I’d much rather hear it come from you in person than to try reading it all on my phone. Sarah Kathleen Peck wrote an article for Business Insider, and in it she says, “By writing less, you say more.” I couldn’t agree more with that. Leave a bit of mystery about yourself to keep recruiters interested in learning more about you.

5. Practice Proper Etiquette

Last but not least, remember to practice proper email etiquette. No one likes getting an email in all caps, especially if you think that typing in all caps will get your email noticed. It’ll get it noticed… and then get sent to the trash! Improper email etiquette wouldn’t work in the real world, so don’t practice it in the virtual world. Non-work signatures, emoticons, and anything else that you would send to your friends and family should be left out of your job-hunting related emails. Once you’re hired and you’re involved in the company’s culture, then you can embrace those .gifs, memes, and emoticons if they’re appropriate.

There you have it. Those are just a few tips on how making a few changes to your email habits can greatly affect your chances at getting that new job, or if you’re just graduating, getting your first job of your career . For more, great ,career tips, read some of the other great articles here on CAREEREALISM.

This guest post was written on an earlier date.

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock


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Taylor Wright Taylor Wright is a former recruiter a Forbes 500 company and now freelances as a company headhunter. When not head hunting for the next big thing, Taylor enjoys fishing with her 2 dogs Starsky and Hutch.