Email is a critical aspect of almost every job application. It allows you to effectively communicate with your potential employer and portray yourself as a suitable candidate for the job opening. However, if you don’t follow proper etiquette while sending your job application email, it might ruin your chances of getting that job.
Try looking at it from a recruiter’s perspective. They get hundreds of emails everyday. Even small mistakes can turn them off and keep them from reading the rest of your job application email.
Here are 6 ways to tailor your emails for job search:
Use an actionable subject line
Make sure that you clearly mention the job description that you’re applying for and that it exactly matches the job title provided in the job opening. This will avoid any confusion. For example, if the employer is looking for an “SEO Analyst,” don’t mention “SEO Expert” in your email subject. Although these titles may be similar to you, they may be different in the eyes of your potential employer.
Be clear about why you’ve sent the email. For example, “Application for Communications Director Position” is more informative than only “Communications Director Position.” It tells the recruiter that you’re applying for the job and that they need to review your application. The latter leaves room for interpretation. Are you enquiring about the position?
Write it like a business document
Write your job application email as if it’s a business document. It means using complete sentences and words, avoiding slang, acronyms, emoji and gifs.
Also, pay careful attention to the tone of your message. While some startups and businesses encourage casual emails, it’s advisable to play safe and use a professional tone throughout your message, from the subject line to your signature.
Use the right words and technical terms to showcase your expertise. For example, “managed content marketing strategy” has a finer touch than saying “ran a blog.” If you’re not familiar with the industry language, subscribe to a couple of high authority, relevant blogs or influencers to stay updated about the latest trends and news in your industry.
While describing details, use bullet points when possible. They’re easier to read and give the impression that you’ve accomplished a lot. Five bullet points look a lot more impactful than a paragraph with five sentences.
Customize the message according to the job position
Although different companies might use the same job title, their actual responsibilities might vary from one place to another.
For example, in some businesses a “Content Marketer” may be required to manage a team of writers and come up with marketing strategies, while in other places they might be required to be creative and churn out content ideas.
Change your introduction accordingly to position yourself as a suitable candidate. Highlight appropriate skills that fit the job description. For example, if the job requires a candidate with leadership qualities, give them an example of how you led your marketing team at your previous workplace. If it requires you to be creative, include links to some of your published content.
Follow the instructions
One of the most common mistakes candidates make is a failure to read the instructions properly, perhaps a result of bulk-mailing the same application to all recruiters.
In fact, many employers deliberately include an instruction to test if the applicant has actually read the full job posting. For example, some might ask you to include a link to the job posting or answer a question in your email. Some employers don’t accept email attachments, in which case, you’ll have to paste your resume and cover letters in the email body. If you don’t follow their instructions, your application will be outright rejected.
Go slow. Read the instructions before and after you compose your job application email, and only then hit the send button.
Provide an informative signature
At the very least, include your name, address, mobile phone, and a professional looking email address (e.g firstname.lastname@example.org) in your signature. This will make it easy for them to get back to you if you’re selected for the next round.
Your email signature is also a great way to paint a favorable picture about yourself and entice the employer to learn the right things about you. You can do this by simply including a social media handle to encourage them to find out more about you.
The key is to provide the right social media handle suitable to the organization. For example, if you’re applying to a consulting firm, update your LinkedIn profile and provide a link in your signature. If you’re applying to an ecommerce business or a startup, consider links to Facebook and Twitter profiles. If you’re applying to a developer’s role, then send them a link to your GitHub or StackOverflow profile.
However, if your social profiles have inappropriate content or caustic conversations, don’t include them in your signature.
Wrapping up your job application email
Ask your friends and family to review your email before finalizing the copy. In fact, send yourself a test mail before you start mailing recruiters, to ensure everything looks good. Once you’re satisfied with the message, save it as a canned response for future use. Canned responses provide a great way to save your email content as a template. This way you don’t have to manually type or paste the message every time, thereby eliminating any chance of errors. A few easy changes in your email habits will create a favorable impression on the recruiter and greatly boost your chances of being selected to the next round.
For more than 8 years, Sreeram Sreenivasan has worked with various Fortune 500 Companies in areas of Business Intelligence, Sales & Marketing Strategy. He regularly writes at Fedingo about a wide range of business growth & marketing topics. He’s also the Founder & CEO of Ubiq Business Intelligence, a cloud-based BI Platform for SMBs & Enterprises.
Jobscan Blog: Cover Letter Advice
Oftentimes, your job application email also serves as your cover letter. Check out some other cover letter tips from Jobscan:
- Addressing a Cover Letter to Unknown
- Is Your Cover Letter ATS-Friendly?
- Are Cover Letters Necessary?