Email etiquette for job seekers

Publication Date: April 28, 2014, 12:52 p.m.

Communicating by email is already part of the daily life of those who are familiar with the Internet. Over the past years, more and more people use emails even to find a job. The most common way, though, is just to send their “neat and tidy” résumé. Nevertheless, most of people do not confine themselves to that; they seek for a more extensive communication with the personnel manager, who will decide on hiring them or not.


These covering letters have been under the microscope of a team of students from the University of Michigan, in United States. They examined the effect of 800 different emails on 14 personnel managers in large companies - they receive dozens of such messages every day - and resulted in five practical tips, which we can follow, if we want to make a good impression and obtain the position.


1. Serious email subject lines

Never leave the subject line blank. 13 out of the 14 personnel managers have pointed out that they don't even bother to open any untitled emails. Moreover, you don't have to write too many words or something to cause feelings of pity, for example: "I'm desperately looking for a job", or even worse, "Help me". Most of the time, just a simple and serious phrase "Applying for a job" or the word "Résumé" followed by your name is more than enough.


2. There is a time for everything

Do not use the priority indicator to mark your message as "urgent", so as it appears above the rest of emails in the inbox. You give the impression that you try to take somebody else’s place demandingly, as though you push the passengers in a bus. The people who read this kind of emails don't pay attention to the urgent ones; they read them all.


3. Wrong name

Be careful not to misspell the name of the person to whom you write, whether he/she is the general director, the head of a department or just your prospective supervisor. If you make a mistake, you will immediately lose the job. Such a mistake makes you seem careless and no one wants to cooperate with careless people.


4. To the point

Do not write screeds analyzing both your professional experience and your whole life. A text of 150-200 words is enough. Make sure each sentence contains a piece of information which will be useful to the evaluator. When you finish three sentences, it is necessary to start a new paragraph. Let your words flow, so as they can be read more easily.


5. Strictly prohibited...

Any sort of "decorative touch” in the text, such as emoticons, little hearts, and virtual kisses are strictly forbidden. It is also better not to use too many punctuation marks (exclamation marks, question marks, quotation marks etc.). The plainer and more concise the text is, the better the impression it makes.


Writer: Argiris Pagartanis

Traslator: Aggeliki Deloni



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