You might have the perfect skills and the best-looking resume. But none of that matters if you use bad e-mail manners when contacting employers.
Are you guilty of any of these job search e-mail sins?
Silly or Offensive E-Mail Address
Your friends might know you as “VampireSlayer@email.com,” but that is not a person employers want to hire. If need be, create an e-mail address just for job seeking and professional purposes. Use an e-mail address that is grown-up sounding and easy to read. Employers pay attention to your email address and will judge you if it is inappropriate.
- A variation of your first and last name or your initials is preferable
- Don’t use more than four numbers
- NEVER use a funny nickname unless it relates to your personal brand or career identity
- Use words that describe your career identity
GOOD: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
BAD: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Attaching Your Cover Letter
Unless the employer asks for something different, write your brief cover letter into the body of the e-mail. Send your resume as an attachment (text or Word doc), or link to a Google doc in the body of the e-mail. Attaching your cover letter decreased the chances of it getting read. Don’t make the employer work too hard to find out why you are the best candidate for the job.
Being Too Casual
Any e-mail you send to an employer is a business document. Do not assume that you can be more casual because its an e-mail. Communicate in a professional, respectful way. Your e-mail is an example of your business writing and will be used as part of the screening process.
- Write in complete sentences and paragraphs, the same as you would when writing a document.
- Don’t use online acronyms (IMHO, LOL, etc.) or emojis.
- Check and re-check your spelling and punctuation.
Bad Name for Your Resume File
Name your attachments clearly. Employers can receive dozens, if not hundreds, of e-mails and attachments for one job opening. You want them to easily find your resume and know who it came from. Give your resume file a title that lets employers know it’s yours.
GOOD: WillowRosenberg.doc; Harris-resume.txt
BAD: myresume.txt; version4.doc
Your Move: What other tips do you have for sending your resume to employers?
Originally posted May 2012
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