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When applying for a job, the email you send with your resume and cover letter is just as important as its contents. It is often your first interaction with a potential employer, so you want to make a great impression. Here are some tips based on an article by Susan P. Joyce of Job-Hunt.org for writing an effective email to a potential employer:

  1. Put your email in the "To" field until you are ready to send: this ensures that you don't accidentally send an incomplete email to an employer.
  2. Use an effective subject: make it clear and concise to tell the employer exactly what job you are looking for.
    Example: "Resume Submitted for Customer Service Representative position #54321
  3. Send from a "good" email: use a serious address like "Mike.Smith@..." for all job search related emails. Do NOT use a silly address like "smartypants@..." or an address that may hint at your age like "Mike1963@..."
  4. Send your message to the right addressee: Follow the instructions on the job ad as to who and what email address you should send your application to. If a contact person has not been identified, a simple "Hello" will suffice (do NOT use "Dear Sir/Madam/Representative...")
  5. Keep the message brief: If you are attaching your cover letter, the body of the email only needs to contain a couple sentences describing what specific job you are applying for and the items you have attached.
  6. Attach your resume/cover letter as a PDF: this will ensure that your formatting is consistent with all operating systems.
  7. Include a business "signature" at the bottom: simply list your full name, email, phone number, and URL for your LinkedIn profile
  8. Proofread AGAIN before you hit send: don't rely solely on spellcheck, read through your email a few more times to make sure it sounds professional.

For more tips related to finding a job, explore our section Looking for Work and our Job Search Tools.

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