Top Tips: Email Etiquette - R U Professional?

As companies shift to electronic mail as their primary form of correspondence, job seekers too will see a shift from hardcopy to e-mail when communicating with potential employers. Paying attention to small details such as email etiquette can enhance your credibility with employers and may help you land your dream job. How do you ensure that you are putting your best foot forward when using e-mail in your job search? Consider these top tips:
  1. Mind your manners: Follow the basic rules for cover letters regarding proper greetings and salutations. Open the letter with Mr., Mrs., or Dr. in most cases and only use the person’s first name if he or she has expressly said that it is okay to do so. Don’t assume that just because an employer is informal, you should be too.
  2. Be professional at all times: Watch your tone as it is difficult to express inflection and emotion in writing. Make sure you are presenting a courteous and respectful approach and avoid using smiley faces and “text” language. Also, always use a professionally named email address that is not cutesy or suggestive (i.e. avoid “Hottstuff” and “MizFabulous”)
  3. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread: Always double check your correspondence for grammatical errors and tone and ensure the content is clear and concise. Read the email out loud to yourself or a friend to ensure that everything is the way you want it. Make sure all of the specific company related information is changed as you email different employers. 
  4. Attachments and Subject Line: Check with the employer to verify that it is okay to send an attachment and also determine what type of file (i.e. PDF, doc, etc) is most desired. Some employers will not open attachments from names they don’t recognize to prevent virus transmissions. Name your documents “ Yourname_DocumentType” to aid employers in keeping track of your information. For the subject line, be clear and brief by listing the name of the position you are interested in (ex: Application for ABCD Position).
  5. Fill in the “TO” last: After you have checked and double-checked your work, then fill in the “TO” box of the email. This will prevent you from accidently sending the document before you are ready. Finally, if you are sending an attachment make sure it is attached before pressing send.
Following these tips will help you stand out in this competitive market where every detail counts. Don’t miss out on your dream job because of improper email etiquette.

Author: Meaghan Lee

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