Email Oversights That Hurt Job Seekers
When communicating with employers via email, not only is it important to come off sounding professional, but it’s also important to examine the finer details of your message. Like resume-writing, it requires a careful review before send-off (Read: “Things to Check on the Cover Letter and Resume for the Final Round of Review.” The smallest of mistakes can be cause for a lost job opportunity. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the initial stage of applying for the job or in communication with the employer post-job interview, carefully review your message for mistakes and the underlying tone employers may interpret from your message.
Here’s what you need to watch for with email communications:
- Don’t use the generic message
In today’s market, you’re not going to win with the generic message. Tailor and customize your message to speak to the employer’s interest and needs. The hiring manager reading your email can tell if you’ve carefully reviewed the job posting and completed your own research or if you’re simply applying to the 20th job posting for the day with the same generic message. Someone who doesn’t put in the effort to appeal to the employer will not come off appealing.
- Spelling and grammar still count
As a job seeker, professionalism needs to come through not just on the resume, over the phone, and in-person, but also on email. Make sure your email message is free of grammatical and spelling errors. This means more than just reading over the content, but also making sure you have the company’s name and contact person’s name spelled correctly. If you are working off an older template email and customizing information in it, it’s especially important to check the email for errors in names. One of the most common mistakes seen from job applicants is sending out the email addressed to another employer or the wrong individual. For additional advice, also read: “What Spell Check Doesn’t Catch Can Hurt Your Resume.”
- Don’t write like you’re writing to a pal from high school
Technology has allowed us to text and tweet, creating a mentality for short-hand writing using slangs, acronyms and other abbreviated forms of words during everyday informal communications with family and friends. This does not mean it is okay to carryover such styles of writing in your communication with prospective employers. Professional communication is expected, so avoid using brevity and emojis in your writing to prospective employers.
- Respond in a timely manner
Whether your responding to a job posting or responding to an email response from the prospective employer, it should be done in a timely manner. Everything posted online today can live on forever, but that doesn’t mean the job opening will still be there waiting for in a month. If an employer responds back to you, respond promptly. Waiting out too long can mean a missed opportunity. Employers are also more impressed by the applicant who responds promptly because it informs them that you have a true desire and interest in them.
- Get the email address right
Getting your email message delivered to the right inbox is essential. Carefully review the job posting for details and when you have the email address to a specific individual, that is preferred over the general email address where hundreds of other emails with resumes will be sitting. Also work on crafting an engaging subject line for your email message. Include information on the job title for the opening, but also tie in a brief detail about yourself that may distinguish you from other applicants – for example: Regional Sales Exec. – Asia #1017 – Experienced Establishing Market Presence in Asia & Driving Business Profits.
Don’t let email oversights cost you your next job opportunity!