Email Etiquette: 8 tips for job seekers

Advice for Email Follow Up On Your Resume

  • Practice proper email etiquette. In general, your messages should include full sentences, short paragraphs and detailed information on who you are and the purpose of your correspondence. Avoid all caps, acronyms or slang, emoticons, and unprofessional signatures. Keep the message as concise and to the point as possible. This might all seem obvious, but you’d be surprised.
  • Be overly polite. Keep in mind that email communication can be easily misread, and it’s best to err on the side of formality. Many people try too hard to stand out from the crowd and end up coming across as unprofessional or condescending. It is possible to be both professional and personable.
  • Utilize the subject line effectively. The subject line is one of the most important components of any email message. Make it easy on the reader by clearly and directly reflecting the contents of the message (Jane Smith: Accountant Position is better than Hi!). 
  • Audit your online presence. It’s a good idea to update your LinkedIn profile before you get too far into your job search. For better or for worse, many recruiting software programs automatically identify your social media accounts and add them to your candidate profile. It’s never too late to delete your old Myspace account.
  • Use a professional email address. We recommend an email address that matches the name on your resume. Many companies also use Gmail as their email server, which means you should also make sure you have a professional-looking photo attached to your account.
  • Follow the application instructions. When submitting your application in response to a job posting, remember to read the job description thoroughly prior to jumping in and making a mistake. This can be hard to do, especially when you find that perfect job opportunity. Reading the instructions can save you time, and failing to follow directions is an easy way for decision makers to exclude your resume from consideration.
  • Pause and proofread before sending. Slow down, take a deep breath, read everything, and then read it again. If you’re still unsure about the wording or tone of your message, have someone else take a look at it. Have you ever wanted to un-send a message just after you’ve sent it? Now you can with Gmail’s Undo Send option.
  • Schedule your messages to be sent laterMost studies show that Tuesdays mornings are the optimal time to send emails based on message opening and response rates. Boomerang for Gmail is a simple extension that allows users to write a message and schedule it to be sent at a later time.

So before you send out a slew of networking emails at midnight, you might want to at least update your LinkedIn photo.