I’m currently recruiting for several positions, so I’ve been receiving tons of e-mails from job seekers applying for our open jobs. It was while going through these submissions that I got the inspiration for this post. One of the messages I received was a very brief e-mail with a resume attached. The e-mail simply stated the following:
Salary Requirements – $50K, Thanks [Insert Person’s Name Here]
Sadly, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen something like this. Now it’s great that you’re being so upfront – after all if there’s a disconnect on the salary, it probably won’t work – but you should express yourself in a more professional way.
There seems to be some confusion out there about e-mail e-tiquette in the job search. E-mail e-tiquette is the professional and respectful way to communicate electronically. Allow me to clear things up.
- A job search e-mail is a business letter. In today’s age of chat acronyms and Internet slang, people tend to forget to be more formal when sending an e-mail for jobs. A job search e-mail should be addressed and signed properly. “Dear Ms. Soandso”. The message should be written in letter format. Not just “Please see my attached resume. Thanks”.
- Your cover letter is your e-mail. There’s no need to type an introductory e-mail to your attached cover letter. In the olden days, a cover letter was mailed to introduce your resume. Now, your e-mail does that. So treat your e-mail as your cover letter.
- Don’t ever send a blank e-mail. I can’t count how many times I’ve received a blank e-mail with a resume attached. Besides being an unprofessional submission for a job, with so many computer viruses around, some people may be hesitant to open your attachment.
- Don’t be sexist in addressing your e-mail to generic addresses. If you don’t know the gender of the recipient of your e-mail, use a neutral salutation like “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Recruiting Team”. Sexist may or may not be the right label for people who do this – but I still get e-mails addressed to “Dear Sir” or “Dear Sirs”. There’s about a 50% chance that the person receiving your e-mail is not a “Sir”.
- Run your spelling and grammar check. Don’t send your e-mail with typos, misspellings, and bad grammar. This will reflect poorly on you.
We all know how important first impressions are, don’t we? Keep in mind that if you’re applying for a job via an e-mail, that IS your first impression. Don’t blow it!
Mike Spinale is a corporate Human Resources leader at a healthcare information technology company located outside of Boston, Massachusetts and is an adjunct professor at Southern New Hampshire University. He has over eight years of experience in HR and management including career counseling, recruitment, staffing, employment branding, and talent management. Mike has dedicated his HR career to modern views on the field – HR is not about the personnel files – it’s about bringing on the best talent, ensuring they’re in the right seat, and keeping them motivated and growing in their careers. In addition, Mike is the author of the CareerSpin blog where he offers advice and opinion on job search, personal & employment branding, recruiting, and HR. Mike is a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Babson College. He is also a board member of the Metro-North Regional Employment Board, a board which sets workforce development policy for Boston’s Metro-North region, and an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management and the Northeast Human Resources Association.