While it’s probably the most easily forgotten, E-mail is one of the sharpest tools in any job seeker’s toolbox. After all, it is the key to any online membership, keeps you up-to-date with your network, and is home to your Daily Deals newsletters!
While it’s easy to take E-mail for granted, job seekers should remember that E-mail is a powerful tool that should be used appropriately, especially when used with potential employers or networking contacts.
Even if you think you’re on top of E-mail etiquette, refresh your memory with these eight rules:
Pick your name carefully – It was really cute when your E-mail address was “PlayBoyBunny88” in college, but a potential employer or networking contact is going to find it tacky and inappropriate. When in doubt, the best E-mail address is a combination of your first and last name.
Don’t forget the subject line – Would you open an E-mail from someone you don’t know that contains no subject line? Stay out of the spam folder by addressing the topic of your E-mail in your subject line. The more specific you are, the more likely your E-mail will be opened.
Leave the LOL out of it – LOL, JK, ROFL, and other web jargon you have up your sleeve belong on Facebook, Twitter, and SMS not professional E-mails. While E-mail can be casual, resorting to jargon, emoticons, and text slang could be telling a potential employer that you don’t take this seriously.
Keep it short and sweet – Think about how much time you have to read through your E-mails. Between newsletters, daily deals, and personal E-mail, you have a lot to go through in a short amount of time. If you’re E-mailing someone your resume, making a request, or simply introducing yourself, keep it to the point.
Make your signature your own – Your professional E-mail needs a solid signature. Not only does an informative signature make for a good finish to any E-mail message, but it also provides in one location your contact information making you immediately accessible. Everyone’s signature is different, but try to include your name, E-mail address, phone number, web address, and hyperlinks to your social media profiles.
Remember to sign-off – If you have a good professional signature, do you have to include a sign-off as well? Yes! Professional sign-offs include “best wishes” or “sincerely.” Use a phrase that seems most like you.
Attach it first – This has to be the easiest to commit and most common mistake ever. E-mailing your resume and forgetting to attach it to the E-mail. We have all done it! No worries. Mistakes happen. Thankfully, email service providers like Gmail will prompt you, but don’t rely on that. Make a habit of attaching the document before you even start writing the resume.
Follow the 24-hour rule – E-mail is immediate. No need to wait for the postman or scramble for a stamp. It’s a quick click and done! However, procrastination and overflowing inboxes will often slow down the effectiveness of E-mail communication. Follow the 24-hour rule. Make a point to deal with each E-mail message you receive within 24 hours. When an E-mail requires your response, act on it within a day, even if only to acknowledge that you have received their message and need a day or two to compile the requested information. Someone is waiting for you to answer them, and your appreciation of their time and consideration will send a strong message that you value them and will respond as requested.
It seems like such a simple thing, but it is because E-mail is so simple that the quality of our communication suffers. We sometimes forget common courtesies and dismiss E-mails with a single click. Be careful. You could be dismissing your next job.
What do you think? What other email etiquette rules do you think every job seeker should follow? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Tony Morrison is the Vice President at Cachinko, a unique professional community where social networking and job opportunities come together. His roles include sales, marketing, and business development. He is passionate about building B2B and B2C client relationships and brings this passion to Cachinko where he focuses on helping job seekers to find their ideal job and employers to find, attract, and engage their next rock star candidates. Find him on Twitter and Talent Connection. And, connect with Cachinko on Facebook or Twitter.