Job hunting sure isn’t what it used to be. Just a few years ago, “pounding the pavement” was a literal thing, and people actually went out on the streets, going from business to business to drop off their résumés. Today, most job applications do not take place in person. Everything is done online, and many people even apply for jobs via email. Just because you might not be applying for a job in person, though, doesn’t mean that you still don’t need to use proper etiquette to show that you are a professional. Here are nine job seeker etiquette tips for applying for jobs via email.
1 Know Who to Send it To
When applying for a job via email, it is not enough to start with “to whom it may concern.” Whenever possible, try to find out the name and title of the contact person instead of sending an email to a general box. Make sure that you also send yourself a copy of each email that you send out. That way, you have a record of all of the jobs that you are applying for, and you aren’t going to end up doubling emails and annoying potential employers, which can easily backfire on you.
2 Always Use a Subject Line
Every job application email you send out needs to have a proper subject line. If you don’t put anything in the subject line, chances are that your email is going to end up in a spam mailbox. Your subject line should list the job that you are applying for, so the person who receives it knows exactly what job you want. You can also include your own name in the subject line to reinforce the fact that you are applying for the job, and not just sending an email on someone else’s behalf.
3 Use Business Email
Did you know that more than 60 percent of people do not use their personal email for anything that is business-related? According to Avatier, the majority of people tend to keep their business and personal email separate. So, when looking for a job, make sure that you are sending emails to business accounts, and that you have a separate email address for your employment search, as it looks more professional than just using your personal email.
4 Or, Set Up Another Email
In addition to a business email account, it is a good idea to have a job search email account. Only use this email when you are applying for jobs. You can use it to keep track of the jobs that you have applied for and be able to quickly and easily check messages from potential employers and other contacts. If you only use your business account for job searches, there is no need to have this additional email. In fact, it could end up becoming confusing if you are using two emails for your job search.
5 Use Proper Formatting
A job application email shouldn’t look like a typical email message. It should look like any cover letter you would send via snail mail. So, make sure that your job application emails are properly formatted. It should include a subject line, as mentioned above, and you need to edit, edit, and edit some more to make sure that there are no spelling or grammatical errors. The last thing you want is to look uneducated or unprofessional because you don’t take the time to correct errors in your emails.
6 Treat It Like a Business Letter
Your email messages concerning job applications should look like a regular business letter. Do not use acronyms, emoticons or slang. These things are okay for emails to friends, but not when you are trying to present yourself as a professional. It should start off with a salutation and end with a signature. The only thing you don’t need to add is employer contact information in the upper left-hand corner. Otherwise, it should be identical to a letter that you would send through the regular mail.
7 Your Signature Is Important
Even though you can’t actually sign your email with a pen, you still need to add your signature. In an email, your signature should include your first and last name, your email address, and your cell phone numbers. It should also include your LinkedIn profile. This is your opportunity to show the person doing the hiring what skills you bring to the table without sending a cover letter that is overly long. This isn’t strictly necessary, but it something that is becoming more and more common.
8 Be Careful with Content
How you word your job application email is very important. It is a good idea to have a cover letter already prepared and edited, so you can just copy and paste it into the body of the email message. If you don’t have one ready to go, simply write it in before sending the email. If you are asked to send your résumé as an attachment, send it as a PDF file or a Word document.
9 Don’t Leave Out the Attachments
If you say in the email that you are sending an attachment, don’t forget to attach it. Sending a second email with the attachment is not going to look professional. These days, it’s pretty difficult to forget the attachment, especially if you are using Gmail, since it will notify you if you don’t add it after specifying that there is one. The attachments are going to include the details about you, your résumé, etc., so you need to make sure that they are properly attached and that the person doing the hiring will see them.
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