16 Tips for Job Search Email Success

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Email plays an increasingly important role in our lives both in and out of the office. In fact, the most popular web mail service, Yahoo! Mail turned 10 years old in October, 2007 with 250 million users. TechCrunch reported recently that Yahoo leads the pack followed by MSN with 228 million accounts and Gmail with 51 million. Needless to say, many people are relying on email in their job search as much as they rely on it for personal entertainment or communicating with friends. The following tips will help job seekers to use email effectively in the job search.
  1. Be professional with job search emails. Grammar still matters and punctuation is still important. If you had help with your resume from a career counselor, resume writing software or from anyone else, your resume and cover letter probably look really good. Your emails need to maintain the same high standards and should look as edited and proofed as your resume does.
  2. Make sure the email subject line includes your name and the document attached. E.g. Joe Jobseeker – List of References.
  3. Think seriously about not adding a quote to your email address for the job search. If you chose to add a quote, think about whose quote you use and what the recruiter might think about you as they read your chosen quote.
  4. Read and follow email application instructions from employers carefully. If they require that you respond by email, do so. If it states otherwise - do otherwise. Some employers might even give you instructions for the format, document type or font size to use when submitting resumes via emails.
  5. Use an email address that you will check often when communicating with employers. Recruiters hate to have emails bounce back for closed accounts or full mailboxes.
  6. If you are using a signature with address and contact information, as you should, there is no need to add your email address in this signature again.
  7. Be sure to remove recruiters’ emails from your email lists. The last thing you want to do is inadvertently send inappropriate jokes, chain letters or a virus on to a recruiter or hiring manager.
  8. It's a good idea to email the latest copy of your resume to yourself. This way you can always pick it up in cyberspace from a web mail account like Yahoo!, MSN or Google at any time.
  9. Email is not for everything. Do not use email for urgent messages such as getting directions to an interview or to inform the recruiter that you will be late. Make a phone call instead.
  10. Remember that email is not private. Once you write it down it is on record somewhere. Be careful what you say.
  11. It is acceptable to write a cover letter in email. No need to write an introduction and then add a cover letter and a resume. Use the body of the email as your cover letter.
  12. Pay close attention to the tone of your email. It is almost impossible to tell how someone will react to an email, even with all kinds of emoticons, which you want to limit. Save drafts and read again later for tone before you hit the send button.
  13. Avoid creating your resume in Microsoft Works or older versions of Microsoft Word which the recruiter may not be able to open if you send it as an attachment.
  14. It is recommended to use 10-12 point fonts in black and avoid textured backgrounds.
  15. Watch use of graphics in your emails and avoid the instant messaging chatter and abbreviations.
  16. Write your email content and subject line before adding the recipient's address. This will help you inadvertently send the email off before it is complete.
Bottom line? Stay professional and remember that even though we are in the instant messaging age, your job search emails must represent you well.

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  •  Dina L
    Dina L
    Very good info and advise, as many times you wonder what's appropriate, what's better, and so on. Yet it's too bad the technology of today is mainly the use of internet  (and networking) to get a job. Most of those out of work are competing with one another for lower and higher jobs, unknowingly, and the employers are having a picnic of us "sheep" . Let's not give in (or up) Good luck all.
  • Robin B
    Robin B
    I totally agree with Tanja M. My writing skills or lack of certain "words" to use in a cover letter or e-mail is such a waste of time....it has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with how I do my job as a veterinary technician. I am such a dedicated worker that people overlook me because I did not say the "right" thing! Just give someone a chance, if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out!
  • Kathie K
    Kathie K
    Hi,This was very helpful. What do you think about adding a picture of yourself to your signature.Thanks!
  • Charlene g
    Charlene g
    As I started to read some of the helpful tools regarding making myself stand out from other job seekers, alot of the pointers that were given help me to see what I am not doing  to make myself more marketable. especially when it comes to my spelling and punctuation. Another important tool that stood out to me, using the email as part of the cover letter and not writing an introduction letter along with the email cover letter. Thanks for the tips surrounding using different methods to increase my chance of becoming employed.
  • Alice J
    Alice J
    I have one question...how new of a version of Microsoft Word does my resume need to be saved in, when I send it to a prospective employer as an attachment? Is 2007 new enough? Or does it need to be 2009 ? Please let me know.Alice
  • Tanya M
    Tanya M
    Great information.  However, I have used all the tips that you have mentioned,and I have not been very successful in even getting any interview.  This "submit resume" is very time consuming, I guess it's not like it used to to be walk in sit down discuss your skills and if they like you, your hired.  I just don't understand how a company can possibly read every resume that comes across there e-mail account, it would take them forever.  I'm wondering how do they weed us all out. I know I'm qualified so wants next!!!!! Thanks needed to vent lol.
  • Eric J
    Eric J
    Excellent information and advice. In my opinion, it is one of the great shortcomings of the Internet era in that it is impossible for a potential employer to gauge my enthusiasm and potential value via an email, cover letter and resume. The impersonal anonymity of email job applications bar any intuitive “feeling” people might harvest from sitting down, in the same room, and speaking with one another. That is, indeed, unfortunate. However; electronic pursuit of employment is dictated by the current economic environmet. I'm a believer of walking in to inquire about employment. I'm consistantly turned away and referred to the Internet. Your article will assist me in modifiying (mandatory) my outdated perspective and, hopefully, get that interview and land a job.Grateful!
  • Rick Baker
    Rick Baker
    I thought the tips were very good and helpful.
  • Dave Semones
    Dave Semones
    Thanks very much for Tips!
  • David L. Duffy
    David L. Duffy
    I've noticed that some employers will not accept a Word 2007 attachment as they cannot read the newer format. They will only accept the 2003 or older versions of a Word document as it is not compatable with their computer formats. So I am essentially only sending my resumes and cover letters in the compatable 2003 Word format.
  • Dave
    Thank you for the timely reminders!
  • Donna Queli
    Donna Queli
    I have read your tips and the coments that were left by others and find them helpful. What I don't care for is when you search for a position in the Newark area and get responses from the Newark/New York area.  
  • William Walter
    William Walter
    I use Microsoft Word to draft my "important" e-mails.  This allows me to check spelling and grammar.  I then copy the MS Word document into the e-mail.  This allows me to keep a copy of the communication in a seperate folder. [The comment regarding entering the recipient e-mail address is something I always do.]
  • Linda Graves
    Linda Graves
    The 16 tips was truly helpful, especially how important it is to use proper spelling and grammar.
  • Melanie Bowden
    Melanie Bowden
    Very good points from everyone. I have one more suggestion. If your e-mail service provider has a SPAM filter on your e-mail, see if you can have them remove it so you won't miss e-mails coming back from a potential employer.
  • Susy Flaherty
    Susy Flaherty
    Very good points/suggestions.
  • Willie Cooper
    Willie Cooper
    Thanks for the comments, the mistakes are what seldom go un-noticed.again, thanks
  • Lataya Scott
    Lataya Scott
    I would just like to thank you for the helpful information that you send me through my emails about job search. It is really helpful. Thank you!
  • Alfred Blystone
    Alfred Blystone
    It has been several years since I searched for a job. The 16 points are a great reminder of how to do and submit a resume in a professional manner. Thank you.
  • Kim Johnson-sy
    Kim Johnson-sy
    Thank you for the tips, they are very helpful and much appreciated. I have had terrible luck with online job search, I can't even get an interview for a cashier at a fast food restaurant. I have sent out hundreds of applications, resumes, and cover letters. I have even gone into offices to apply for employment, no one seems to want to give me a chance. There is a probationary period at most companies and I can't even get a chance at fast food. I have some education and lots of skills, what is the problem?
  • Victor Martinez
    Victor Martinez
    Good points, thanks
  • Sandra Jackson
    Sandra Jackson
    Thanks, for helpful tips
  • Ninon Sanguesa
    Ninon Sanguesa
    Thanks for all the advice.I thought it was very informative. I will put it to the test and see how good I did, will let you know in no time. my best to you too!
  • Bev
    Great suggestion to add the To: and the subject line last.  Maybe that will remind me to add the attachments before I hit send!
  • Eugene Alsworth
    Eugene Alsworth
    The "Tips" are very informative; however, there may be a 17, read your message for understanding. Look closely at tip 16..."Write your email content and subject line before adding the recipient's address. This will help you inadvertently send the email off before it is complete." I don't know about you, but I don't need any help when sending inadvertent emails, I do need help in preventing the inadvertent or premature release of an incomplete document.

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