In your job search, it is important to “sweat the details”. Important in these details is your e-mail. While how you handle your e-mail is not likely to win you the new job, it can certainly cost you a position. 

For our youngest readers, e-mail may seem like “old news”, but most Recruiters still rely heavily on its use rather than using text or social media. 

There are several key e-mail items to review when preparing for your job search. The good news is that all of these are easy to accomplish with minimal effort. Let’s examine what you can do to make sure that your e-mail does not become an issue.

• Use a “Current” E-Mail Service: It is hard to believe, but your e-mail provider may tell the Hiring Manager something about you (or at least they think it does). The current standard is to use a Gmail or Outlook e-mail, and the good news is that both are free. If you are using such outdated services as AOL or Hotmail, the perception drawn may be that you are behind the times and will not be as current with technology as others.

• Keep It Professional: The e-mail address that you use should be professional and minus any sexual, profane, or otherwise obnoxious references. If your current e-mail contains any concerning references, then create a new one that is “clean”. I recommend using an easy to remember and recognizable e-mail, such as one using your name (something like first initial and last name). By doing this, you also serve to reinforce your name with the Hiring Manager via some repetition.

• Have a Dedicated E-Mail Address: In order to keep yourself organized, it may be helpful to create an e-mail address that will only be used for your job search. This will help you avoid a situation where an important job search e-mail is “lost” within all the spam and other “junk” mail that we all seem to receive.

• Don’t Use Your Work E-Mail: You want to separate work from personal. While it may be convenient to use your work e-mail (since you are looking at it already throughout the weekday) it is not a good practice. Some companies have policies against personal e-mail coming through work accounts, but regardless of any written rule, it is not a “good look” for you.

• Check It Often: You want to be accessible to any message that may come from the Recruiter or Hiring Manager. It is important that you check this e-mail for new messages on a regular basis. At the very least, you want to check daily, but it would be better to review more often.

• Organize Folders: The nice thing about e-mail is that it makes it pretty easy to keep yourself organized. You can create folders for each position that you apply for and this will allow you quick access to any information you may need.

• Remember Your E-Mail Etiquette: You will, at various times, be required to write your own e-mails to a Recruiter or Hiring Manager. Don’t forget to be professional in both content and format. For example, use a commonly used font and avoid slang, clip art, etc. You can’t go wrong if you use a traditional letter format with a Greeting and Closure when writing. 

• Keep It Simple For Reader: Make it easy for the reader and clearly outline the reason for the e-mail in the Subject Line. This allows for easy identification that it is an e-mail to be read amongst all the others found in the Inbox. Also, have all of your contact information in the Signature section, again making it easy for the reader if he/she needs to reach you.

It may be easy to dismiss something as simple as e-mail when doing your preparation work in your job search. A misstep in this area can create an unprofessional and/or embarrassing situation. The good news is that you can look like an e-mail pro in no time with minimal effort by following a handful of easy steps.

As always, best of luck in your job search!

The following has been prepared for the general information of RochesterJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.

Joe Stein
WNY Human Resources Professional

Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at:
Joe Stein


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