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Email Etiquette When Job Hunting

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When sending an email to a potential employer, it’s important that you act professionally at all times as first impressions definitely count!

Once you’ve sent an email to a hiring manager, they will gauge exactly what type of person you are and their decision on whether or not to interview will be based, to a certain extent, on the style, content, and structure of your email. You only have a few seconds to make a great impression (you know the old saying – “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression!).

Most employers are also likely to do checks on your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts so it’s essential that you make sure that your online profile shows an image of yourself that you would like to portray.

From the moment you first send an email, the company will be considering you as a candidate so it’s wise to keep your emails consistent and polite.

Here are some top tips for correct email etiquette:

Once you've sent an email to a hiring manager, they will gauge exactly what type of person you are and their decision on whether or not to interview will be based, to a certain extent, on the style, content, and structure of your email.Click To Tweet

Too Personal:

  • Keep the email professional. The hiring manager is not your friend, so you must make sure that the tone of your email is formal. You should project a professional image of yourself.  Writing in a casual way such as starting an email with ‘hi’ might make you sound a little too casual about the role.
  • Depending on the reason for the email (such as a cover letter), you should focus on the job requirements and why you are a great fit for the role. Do not get into personal issues (such as “I really need this job”).

cover letter

Your Email Account:

  • Make sure you use a personal email. Sending an email from your current employer’s email when looking for a job is not professional.
  • Your email address should not be an address that will embarrass you (like “[email protected]”).  Use some form of your name in your email address.


  • Assuming that the hiring manager is business-focused will help you to write a professional email. Competition is tough and you will want your email to stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons.
  • If you don’t know the individual, beginning your email with ‘Dear’ is a great way to start as you are structuring the email similar to the way you would structure a formal letter. Once you have received replies from the employer you can decide whether your approach is too formal. You can also skip the salutation (which is fine) but use their preferred name (if you know it).
  • Try to send your email to an individual, rather than a general email account. Use LinkedIn and other research to get the email address you need.
  • The email should have a subject. Blank subjects are typically sent to spam by email servers.
  • Include an email signature which should include your name, email address, home phone, cell phone, and possibly the link to your Linkedin profile.
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04/20/2024 06:03 am GMT

The Tone of Your Note:

  • The “tone” of your email comes across instantly and it is very easy for your note to be misconstrued, even with the best intentions.
  • Do not use upper case except at the beginning of sentences or if you are quoting a title. Writing in upper case may seem like you are shouting and may be understood in the correct way.
  • Cover your topic early on in the email. Use keywords that align with the job description.

Use the email to Represent Yourself:

  • When emailing your potential employer, read over your replies before you send them to check for grammatical errors and misspelled words. If it appears that you struggle to write a professional email, the hiring manager may wonder how you are going to communicate to clients and colleagues within the business.
  • Ensuring that your emails are written and structured to the highest standard will help you to make a good impression. Let friends or relatives proofread your email in case there are errors and to ensure your email is understood.
  • Keep it as short as possible. The hiring manager will not want to read a lengthy email.

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