With the advent of the Internet, many of us have the opportunity to apply for a job by email.
However, just because it’s Internet and email are so fast and convenient, it doesn’t mean you should give up on professionalism and Polish!
FIRST IMPRESSIONS MATTER. I recently reviewed several emailed applications, and let me tell you that it was an amazing experience! Here are some examples of how to *not* do things…
1 person just forwarded the job description to the hiring company. There was no explanation letter, no name (just some garbled email address), nothing. Why would a company hire someone who wouldn’t bother to put in the effort?
Several people confused the name of the hiring party. Someone wrote it with an error, someone substituted someone else’s name.
Spelling mistakes, typos, grammatical errors, and formatting problems you won’t believe. One person said her greatest strength was her attention to “details” (must be “details”); another said it was his responsibility to “tent for customers” (“take care of customers”).
It almost goes without saying that it’s better to follow the application instructions provided. If you are asking for or applying for a job – whether it is online or in the “real world” – there are certain rules of etiquette that apply:
GREET the PERSON. Don’t rush in here and start writing.
WRITE THE COMPANY NAME AND THE NAME OF THE HIRING MANAGER CORRECTLY. If you don’t know how to pronounce them, take a few seconds to find out.
SPECIFY THE POSITION YOU ARE APPLYING FOR. Be specific; a company can hire more than one job.
PROVIDE A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF YOUR RELEVANT SKILLS. Keep it short and to the point.
CHECK YOUR SPELLING AND GRAMMAR. It will only take a few minutes. If you’re not sure if you can do it yourself, ask a friend or family member to check it out for you.
BE POLITE! Don’t make any demands. Remember that the hiring Manager only sees your email – he or she can’t see your facial expressions or body language, so be extra careful about your choice of words and how you put them together.
FORMAT YOUR DESIRED EMAIL TO 60 CHARACTERS PER SENTENCE. Many email programs preferred to “wrap the word” somewhere between 60 to 70 characters. Add a hard return when you reach 60 characters per line; this ensures that the company gets a beautifully formatted app, just as you expected.
TELL THEM HOW TO CONTACT YOU. At the very least, leave your phone number and email address.
AND FOR GOD’S SAKE, TELL THEM YOUR *NAME*. It’s so obvious that it hurts, but I’ve seen dozens of statements that aren’t signed there. At the end of your email you should write “sincerely, “”sincerely,” or “yours Sincerely,” and then sign your name.
Competition for work from home is fierce, and companies can afford to be picky. Don’t give them a reason to pass you by! Professionalism still matters – even on the Internet.