The Ultimate Guide To Professional Email Etiquette

Can you imagine communicating without email? It is part of our everyday life and the way many employers receive cover letters and resumes from potential candidates. So, if you don’t know email etiquette, you’re in for a rough ride. Related: Follow Up Tips: What To Do When Your E-mail Goes Unanswered Even if you think you have it down, you should take another look at the tips below.


Subject Line

The first thing seen is the subject line so make that work for you. For example, “Over 10 Years Ranked as the #1 Sales Performer” will certainly demand reading. Even if you have to reference the job posting number, include a summary of who you are in an attention getting way.

Email Tone

Respond with the same tone or err slightly more conservatively than the employer presents itself in the job posting to be on a common ground for communications. Remember that people hire people they like and every communication is a chance to build rapport, so keep it conversational and not too stuffy.

Embedding Graphics

You don’t know if the employer is on the same email system as what you use, so while that fancy graphic may look nice, it may come out to look like a broken image file upon receipt. Avoid embedding logos and graphics to email.

Email Length

The only purpose of the email, just like a cover letter, is to get them to read your resume. Keep your email short and to the point of what you can do for them. Have short paragraphs and make sure it is easy to read.

Read Receipt

You may want to know when your cover letter and resume has been received and read, but the employer receiving the email with the request for read receipt can get turned off quickly. Not only does it send a signal that you don’t trust the employer and the process it has in place, but employers do not have an obligation to respond to each email received and requesting for it is imposing that on them.

Urgent Delivery

Marking your email as urgent or of high importance does not necessarily give it special attention. Employers may find it annoying that the feature is being abused when you’re applying to the job like every other job candidate. Keep these tips in mind the next time you’re applying for a job via email or in correspondence with a potential employer. The last thing you want to do is irk the employer and loose a chance at the job opportunity or an interview. This post was originally published on an earlier date.

Related Posts

7 Cover Letter Mistakes You Make When Applying Via E-mail E-mail Etiquette Matters During Your Career Search Networking: The Art Of The Cold Call (Or E-mail)

About the author

Don Goodman’s firm was rated as the #1 Resume Writing Service in 2014 & 2015. Don is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Check out his Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call him at 800.909.0109 for more information. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if your co-worker took credit for the work you did...right in front of your colleagues AND boss!

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Cam submitted. He's been working at a job for awhile, but recently overheard a hiring manager making fun of a candidate with autism right after an interview-not only awkward, but VERY unprofessional!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if witnessed a hiring manager at your organization making fun of a candidate who they had just interviewed who had autism.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

Starting a family is one of the biggest milestones in a person's life. It's in those first few months when a parent can really bond with their newborn and make lifelong memories. However, for some new dads, it can be difficult to juggle being a new parent while remaining dedicated to their career.

Fortunately, some companies have generous paternity leave policies that give new dads the ability to take time off of work to stay home with their child.

SHOW MORE Show less

There are LOTS of questions around resume dos and don'ts. There's so much advice out there that it can be overwhelming to try and figure out what's the correct answer.

During our weekly live Office Hours on YouTube, two of our coaches, Ariella Coombs and J.T. O'Donnell, answer questions live from viewers related to their job search, career success, on the job situations and more.

We complied a simple list of what we find to be the most common questions our coaches get about resumes. We hope you find this helpful.

Let's start with the basics...

SHOW MORE Show less

Back in March, we made the hard decision to change our private Facebook group of over 37 THOUSAND members to a fee-based only platform.

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if a recruiter called you a day EARLY for your phone interview (and you were NOT PREPARED!)

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

If you caught our last video in our latest series, "Well This Happened..." you heard about the problem one of our viewers is having with their co-worker. To recap, they have a colleague that overshares a little too much, and they weren't sure how to go about addressing this. We had some great responses from our viewers on how they think our friend should handle this. Check out the answer below and let us know if you guessed right or not!

SHOW MORE Show less

Negotiating salary can be a scary, intimidating experience. However, if you go in prepared, it doesn't have to be that way - you can confidently negotiate for a salary you deserve. But how?

SHOW MORE Show less