February 21, 2012
The email is often the first point of contact between you and a prospective employer, and can solely determine whether or not you are considered for the position. Below are some tips to help you get the most out of your initial emails.
Before You Email, Connect
Recruiters get hundreds of emails for a single job opening, so you need to make sure your email stands out from the rest.
To get noticed, first ask yourself, “How can I connect with the recruiter besides just sending an email?”
Well, a great place to start is to use Simply Hired’s Who Do I Know? feature. Log into LinkedIn via Simply Hired’s search result page and check to see if you have any connections at the company. If you have a connection, either reach out to this person directly for a referral to the position of interest or request an introduction.
If you don’t have a connection at the company, consider searching for a new connection at the company on LinkedIn. You can also look for the recruiter on Twitter and introduce yourself. The point is, use whatever means you have to ensure the recruiter recognizes your name and looks over your application.
Composing the Email
When it comes to actually sending your email there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Send Emails from a Professional Address – No HotGURL22@yahoo.com or Cowboysfootballfan99@comcast.net. The simple email@example.com works best.
- Craft an Attention Grabbing Subject Line – Avoid simple subjects like Sarah’s Resume or Jeff’s Application for Employment. Include the title of the position you’re applying for and any kind of credentials you have that set you apart from the pack.Remember, the subject line contains the only 50 characters the recruiter or hiring manager is guaranteed to see, so make them count!
- Personalize! Personalize! Personalize! – Forget the cut and paste cover letters or templates with a few substituted keywords (if you forget to update the company’s name in your template, that’s a sure-fire way for your email to get deleted right away). The last thing you want is for the recruiter to think you only put a template’s worth of effort into applying. This email is your cover letter, so customize your email to show how you meet the requirements laid out in the job description, whether that’s specific experience, skills or credentials. And don’t be afraid to show a bit of personality to stick out from the other candidates!
- Be Courteous and Polite – Your mother was right — manners always have and always will go a long way. So make sure you include a greeting and introduce yourself at the start of you email. Likewise, include a thank you and a salutation (Best, Sincerely, etc.) at the end.
- Be Precise – Make your email concise and engaging — many recruiters/hiring managers only briefly scan your cover letter for a few seconds, or a minute or two if you’re lucky. Include the most impressive information first so they are more likely to read it and add the more standard stuff towards the end. If they list specific requirements, or if they ask any questions, include that information first, more general information can go at the end. Throughout the email be sure to compose short concise paragraphs or even bullet points, rather than giant blocks of text.
- Proofread – Whether in an email, a resume, or any other correspondence, you don’t want to be dismissed as a candidate because you misused the semicolon or used the wrong there/their/they’re. Check your work. When you’re done proofreading your email, proofread it again or have someone else look at it. Remember that once you send the email, it is set in stone!
Keep these tips in mind to ensure that your emails will catch the eye of those hiring managers and recruiters and you will land that first interview.