5 Ways Jobseekers Are Hurting Their Chances in Email Communication
Today, there’s no avoiding communication over email. We use in instances to apply for a job – submitting the cover letter and resume, to respond to employers, and to submit a follow-up thank-you note post-interview. Unfortunately, poor use of email communication results in employer’s being less than impressed with the jobseeker or the jobseeker not getting the proper attention.
Here are tips to professional email etiquette when you’re job searching.
- Know your audience.
Like any communication, know who your audience is. You can customize your information and tone to engage the reader. So before you write that email, think whether the employer is a law firm where you should err on the conservative side of communication or a small start-up business where the culture is relaxed? The right tone in your message can create a sense of commonality with the reader. For ex., you may begin your email message with Dear Mr. Smith or Dear John, depending on how the job posting is written and how the hiring manager refers to himself.
- Captivate and engage with the Subject line.
When applying for a job over email, you may be one out of hundreds of applicants. To get the employer’s attention, your email subject line needs to read differently. While others all reference just the job posting title like Project Manager #10003, yours should entice the employer to open it. Go instead with “Construction Project Manager #10003 – Experienced LEED & GBE Certified Professional.”
- It’s about them, not about you.
Many people tell their story: I started here and went there and now I am seeking..” Big mistake. The employer does not care – they just want to know why they should consider you. So make the communication speak to what you can deliver complemented with proof statements indicating where you have done it before.
- Make your email message short and succinct.
Employers are only giving each resume a few seconds, so it’s unlikely they want to read a lengthy email message. Keep the message succinct and use short paragraphs. You only need to include information to inform the employer you have what they are looking for so that they take the next step of reviewing your resume attachment, if it’s not already pasted in the body of your email message.
- Deliver it right.
You never know if it is a human going over each email that comes in or if everything is run through the Applicant Tracking System. To reduce your chance of missing the boat, apply as early as possible. In many cases, once an employer gets enough resumes in, the door is shut. Also, don’t do anything that requires the employer to take unnecessary steps like having to accept read receipt before they can see your email or even marking your email as urgent to get special attention. These types of emails only tick an employer off rather than start communication on the right foot.
As simple as email communication is, taking a moment to make these minor tweaks can mean the difference between getting a call back and not.