An e-mail message can make or break your job search with a specific organization, company or person.
Doing it well is required and assumed. Doing it poorly is a waste of time.
Focus on what's important
to the recipient.
A job search is personal sales, so think and writes like a good sales person!
Hint: Don't use too many ”I” sentences
in your messages.
Bad: ”I saw your job posting on Mwanza Guide ‘online’, and I want to apply for the job. I think that your company would be a great place to work, and I have attached my resume for your consideration.” Ouch! Four ”I”s in one paragraph!
”My two years of successful experience in online customer support with a Website
processing 250 orders a day, my strong interpersonal skills, and my education
fit the requirements of the Website customer support opening you have posted
on Mwanza Guide ‘online’. ”
Organize your message like a newspaper article - top down.
Briefly summarize the most important points in the first paragraph of your message, as in “Good” above. Just like a newspaper article's ”lead” paragraph, the first paragraph of your e-mail should grab your recipient's attention so that the rest of the message (including your resume!) is read.
Provide the supporting information in the paragraphs below the first one.
Saving your most important point for the last paragraph only works if someone reads that far, and most people won't unless the first paragraph has grabbed their attention.
Use short paragraphs
An e-mail message needs plenty of white space to be easy to read. Long fat paragraphs of dense text are daunting to the reader, and not likely to be read carefully. Break up the big paragraphs into smaller ones.
Summarize and highlight important
points with bulleted lists (replace the bullets in ”rich text” with asterisks
in ”plain text”) and other conventions to help your reader see the most important
Keep the message short
- particularly your first message to someone. Long messages are intimidating. If someone is in a hurry, a long message is less likely to be read or read completely - it may be saved for ”later” but later may never come. If they are expecting a long message, it is more likely to be read.
Send your message to the ”right” addressee.
Hopefully you have a person's name and their e-mail address to use. If not, call or go to see what person/address is appropriate. AND try to find another, better address to use - preferably the hiring manager or the recruiter.
Send from a “good” e-mail address.
Send your job search messages from a serious address, like “sophia@...”With a little marketing added, “sophiaMBA@...” or “sophiaCSPro@...”
Don't use your
“smartypants@...” or "thebigboozer@...” accounts for your job search.
Messages from silly or dumb e-mail addresses may look like junk email (or
jokes) and be deleted unread.
Add a ”signature” section at the bottom.
Add a few lines at the bottom of the message, below the closing, that are a combination of marketing and contact information.