E-mail has become the dominant form of communication for the job search. Although there are times when making a phone call is more appropriate, most employers prefer to receive e-mails from job seekers. As simple as it is to send a job application e-mail, there are some pitfalls. All of these can be avoided by following e-mail etiquette.
You should create a separate e-mail address so that it is easier to keep track of your correspondences. But beyond that suggestion, there are some other things you should keep in mind. One of the most common problems that I have seen is creating an acceptable e-mail subject line. Job seekers will too often write something like “regarding your job posting.” That is not nearly specific enough. An example of a good subject line would include the exact name of the position. For example:
- Fundraising Director Position, OR
- Fundraising Director Position, [your name here]
Another suggestion is to include an e-mail signature at the end of your message. Most programs–whether it’s Outlook or Gmail–give you the option to include your name and contact information at the end of all your communications. This is a much better solution than putting your contact information somewhere in the e-mail body. Remember to include all methods of contact in your signature. This includes your cell and home phone number. You should also consider including a link to your LinkedIn profile.
Finally, you should pay close attention to your salutation. If you don’t know the name of the person, write “To whom it may concern” instead of something like “Hello.” Use Mr. or Ms. if you know their name. Do not under any circumstances use their first name. Have any more suggestions that I missed? Leave them in the comments section.