Get Hired Series: Job Application Email Checklist

Email ChecklistIn the first post of the “Get Hired” series I shared a list of points that a job applicant should keep in mind when creating his résumé. Taking this a step further, this time I wish to share a few pointers about what needs to be taken care of when you email that resume to a prospective employer. This email is essentially the most important part of the entire “getting-hired” process. This is you first interaction with the employer and whatever impression this email makes on him will affect how he views your résumé, if at all,  and at some point in the future, you. This means this email can make or break your chances of landing your dream job. Hence it makes absolute sense for you to be extremely meticulous about this email and make sure that you send the best mail possible. This time again I’ll be sharing the points in the form of a checklist and will be providing explanations wherever required.

  • Am I using a sensible/presentable email id? This is the first thing the reader of your email will see. As I mentioned in the last post, get an email id specifically for this purpose if your usual email id is too funky. I will be very hesitant in hiring or
  • Am I providing a subject to the mail? –_ As I shared some time back, I avoid strong negative words like hate but I absolutely hate receiving an email without a subject. Never send any email without a subject to anyone, ever._
  • Is my subject clear enough? – The best formats for subject are “Application for post of {Whatever post}” or “Job Application – {post}”. Avoid sending mails with subjects like “My resume” or “Latest resume” etc. You want a job, act professionally.
  • Is the formatting of resume uniform? Use fonts, font sizes and colors uniformly. Comic Sans MS is a strict no-no and so is an all-caps email.
  • Am I using a salutation? Am I using a proper salutation? – Many of the emails that I receive do not have any salutation at all. Always use a salutation. A simple “Dear Sir” or “Dear HR Manager” should be fine.
  • Am I giving an intro? – If the entire body of the email is “Please find attached the résumé. Please consider”, then please don’t even bother writing even that much. I’ll see the attachment, I’ll download it. Write a brief intro about yourself. Something concise that should be a snapshot of your résumé. A well written intro can sometimes cover the errors in your résumé.
  • Have I mentioned the reference, if possible? – It is going to greatly benefit you only to mention the reference from which you came to know about the opening. If you have been referred by an existing employee or a client then it could greatly help in building your first impression. Most importantly mentioning the reference would be a key factor in determining whether your résumé should be opened at all.
  • Do I have a sensible email signature? – Mention your name and phone number and that should be sufficient. Avoid html, images and quotes as much as possible.
  • Have I proofread the email? – Never ever send the first draft of any email to anyone. Your career is worth spending a few extra minutes to verify that everything is in order. A simple trick would be to write the draft in MS word so that it tells you your errors (most of them) as you write. That would take care of your basic spelling and grammatical errors. Try to keep the tone of the email neutral and professional.
    Professional email writing is a skill that I value dearly in my team mates and if you can impress me with your application email, you have almost ensured that your résumé is not only opened but also considered if the opening is there. If you have not read the previous post about the résumé checklist, I recommend that you give it a look. In case you have a feedback or wish to add a point or two you can post your comments in the comments box below or catch me on twitter @akhilrex

First Post :  Get Hired Series: Resume Checklist

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I have helped many startups in building their products and I would be happy to have a chat with you about your idea. Catch me on twitter at @akhilrex