When applying for a job, building rapport between you and the company you’re interested in is always a good idea. You can allow the company a glimpse into the human behind the job candidate as well as establish a communication channel that can potentially benefit you greatly in the hiring process.
Generally, a fresh graduate will contact a company either when applying for a new job, following up via email, or inquiring after an interview. Either way, having an open channel of communication during the recruitment/interview process is a great door opener. Questions can be exchanged, concerns can be voiced, and most importantly, thanks can be expressed.
Unfortunately, many great candidates end up missing out on amazing career opportunities due to simple, yet unprofessional, email mistakes. People often underestimate the importance of a well-written and well-structured email, especially in making a great first impression on the employer.
Before sending an email to a potential employer, make sure you apply the following rules to avoid any unprofessional email mistakes.
1. Do not use vague subject lines
Make sure your subject lines are concise, clear, and actually say what the email is about. When you’re emailing people for the first time, make sure you include information that will make them click on the email as your name and email address might not still be familiar with the recipient.
2. Avoid late night or early morning emails
When contacting potential managers, take into consideration time zone and working hours. For example, Fridays and Saturdays are days off in Jordan and the United Arab Emirates while Saturdays and Sundays are the weekend days in Lebanon. In addition, make sure the recipient is awake when they receive your email. No one likes to receive a 3AM email.
3. Use a professional email address
Beauty_eyes_gurl_94@unprofessionaldomain.com and email@example.com are email addresses that most professional email servers will filter as junk/spam. If not, they will most probably be deleted. Simple email address rules are: 1) use first and/or last name; 2) avoid underscores and opt for dots instead; 3) try your best to avoid numbers; and 5) use a professional email provider (e.g. Gmail, iCloud, Microsoft), or, better yet, your own domain.
4. Do not be too casual
While the tone of your email should reflect your relationship with the recipient, being too casual will reflect negatively on your image. Your potential future manager will appreciate the follow up or the thank you email, and it might even contribute to you getting the job. However, they must not think of you as someone who is careless and doesn’t respect the manager-employee relationship. This means always be extra careful with word choice, tone, and format.
5. Do not be too rigid
While being too casual can harm you, being too rigid or stiff can harm you just as much. You must keep in mind that you do not want to sound like a robot or someone who doesn’t understand professional relationships. You can simply add a little bit of your personality in your emails. Some enthusiasm about the opportunity you’ve been given is always good.
6. Use a serious signature
By all means, avoid inspirational quotes, cute images, or anything that might not be interesting to all recipients. You need to keep professional correspondence neat and concise in all aspects. Your signature should include your name, contact information, and (if applicable) current position and employer. No need for the extra flare.
By Roba Al-Assi
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