E-Mail Etiquette for Job Hunting

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E-mail is fast, convenient, and ubiquitous, which can make it a useful tool during a job search. Etiquette is just as important online as it is offline, particularly when you need to impress a potential employer. Use the following tips to ensure that your e-mails don’t derail your job search.

– Use a professional e-mail address. An unprofessional e-mail address can immediately turn an employer off. In order to keep professional e-mail separate from personal e-mail and to make a good first impression, consider creating a separate professional e-mail address through a free, web-based e-mail provider. Firstname.lastname@provider.com is a good formula to follow.

– E-mail the right person. Do some research to dig up the correct contact e-mail address for the company. Explain the reasoning behind your e-mail, as well. For instance, if you e-mail someone because their address was included in materials you received at a job fair, tell them so.

– Ask the right questions. Go over the company’s website before you send your e-mail so that you can avoid asking a question that you could have answered yourself.

– Respond in the same e-mail thread. When you reply to an e-mail that was sent to you, leave the content of your previous communications intact. Doing so will help the person you’re corresponding with quickly and easily remember why you’re contacting them.

– Use a clear, professional subject line. E-mail without a subject line often ends up flagged as spam or deleted. Include the name of the position you want to apply for in the e-mail subject line to keep things clear.

– Create and use an e-mail signature that contains your contact information. Include links to your online professional profiles, as well as your first and last name, e-mail address, and telephone number.

– Don’t use emoticons, all capital letters, or shorthand expressions that are meant for text messaging. Communicating professionally means writing in complete, grammatical sentences. Deviating from this norm can hurt your chances of employment.

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