Gone are the days of "pounding the pavement" to find employment. Most job searching is done online, and many businesses request that candidates contact them via email. You may be up against dozens or even hundreds of other job seekers, though, so catching a hiring manager's attention is key. Using proper etiquette, writing a professional email message and including your resume as well as other documents correctly can mean the difference between being passed over and landing a job interview.
Start with a suitable email address. You want to look professional from the start, so avoid using an email address that may appear immature or inappropriate, such as "firstname.lastname@example.org" or "email@example.com." Use an email address that states your first and last name, such as "firstname.lastname@example.org." Create a new email address with a free email service, if necessary.
Greet your recipient appropriately. Find out the name of the person to whom you are responding. If it is not listed in the ad, call the business and ask. Address the recipient formally, such as "Dear Ms. Peterson:" and only use "Dear Sir or Madam:" if you are unable to discover the correct recipient's name.
Treat the body of the message like a cover letter. Never send a resume with a blank email message. State the purpose of your email and explain why you are the best person for the job using keywords in the ad, such as "Based on my skills in accounting and customer service, I am confident that I would be a great addition to your team." Never use slang or emoticons in the body of your email. This looks unprofessional.
Include your resume. Attach your resume as a Word document or PDF file so that the recipient can easily open it. Paste the resume into the body of your email message instead if the ad requests that you do so.
Check for other requirements. If the advertisement requests anything other than your resume, such as references or salary history, be sure to include this information as well. Failing to follow directions might cause the employer to delete your email without even reading it.
Tricia Goss' credits include Fitness Plus, Good News Tucson and Layover Magazine. She is certified in Microsoft application and served as the newsletter editor for OfficeUsers.org. She has also contributed to The Dollar Stretcher, Life Tips and Childcare Magazine.