Email Rules for Applying for a Job
Most major corporations have completely replaced old-fashioned paper applications with sleek websites using applicant-tracking software (ATS). Some of these sites even allow applicants to upload their resumes and then translates it into the application fields.
But many jobs allow, or even encourage, applicants to file via email. What are the rules and etiquette for this seldom-used service? Here are a few simple tips to help you succeed with email applications.
Email Etiquette Tips for Job Seekers
First things first, your grammar teacher spent months teaching proper speech and how to write complete sentences. Look back on these years and remember those lessons fondly.
Use real words; the hiring manager is not your BFF. LOL’s, ROFL’s, BTW’s and YNGTJ’s (You’re not Getting the Job) are unprofessional, unneeded, and, in most cases, annoying.
Emoticons are best saved for cutesy texts and emails. Besides, Outlook often mistranslates these symbols into weird letters. (I.e. The smiley emoticon :-) becomes J when non-Outlook users send to someone with Outlook).
Always include a Subject Line in your emails. The best Subject Line is “Re: Job Application for Sales Manager Position Listed on Monster.” Other similar subject lines also are appropriate.
Make sure your email account name is appropriate for business use. No one wants to know you are firstname.lastname@example.org. If your email address is not business appropriate, apply for a new, free email account, preferably with your name as the account name.
Don’t send out email blasts applying for several jobs at once. This makes you look lazy and uncommitted to the job. Don’t think you can hide the fact with the BCC function. All hiring managers can identify email blasts from a mile away.
Customize your emails to each company, and address it to a specific person if possible. Try not to use those general email forms or website email addresses. It takes longer for replies, and the chance for misdirection is higher.
Letter and Email Writing Tips
Writing the email is much like writing a cover letter. Start the email with “Dear Mr./Mrs.” or if you don’t know the person “Dear Hiring Manager.” Including a date and time is not needed, nor is the typical address lines included on a cover letter.
For the content areas, simply copy-paste your cover letter into the email message or write your cover directly into the body. Attach your resume or CV to the email as a PDF. Don’t use Word or other word processing formats. This prevents any edits or alterations to your documents. PDFs cannot be edited by standard software.
Just as with a standard cover letter, make sure you include your signature at the bottom of the email. Email signatures can be customized, decorated, etc. depending on the user’s knowledge. All signatures should include your full name, email address (don’t rely on them looking at the sender information; many hiring managers simply print out the message for later use.), cell phone number or the number you answer most, LinkedIn profile is applicable and mailing address
Email applications are not much different from standard cover letters. Use professional, standard grammar and spelling, state the message’s intention, list the most important information about your experience and attach your resume.
Always proofread the email several times before sending. It’s easy to click send but not to take it back. And send a record to yourself to keep on hand for future reference. Check in with the hiring manager in a couple of weeks to ensure they received the application, but don’t harass or stalk them.
Remembering the basic rules of the interview, CV and cover letter apply to emails will help increase your professional appeal and make a great first impression.