Email is one of our primary forms of communication. It is convenient, fast and free (sort of). When you are sending emails for your job search- to submit your resume, arrange a networking meeting or to send a thank you, you want to create the appropriate first impression. Are you making any of these common email mistakes?
Strong communication skills, both verbal and written, are extremely valuable to employers. Every message they receive from you will form an impression. Be aware and alert of the impression you’re making. And most importantly, know that first impressions are lasting impressions.
Use a professional font within your email messages.
When you use an unusual or colored font, you may be sending the wrong of message. Your outgoing messages should represent your professional image; therefore, consider using a standard font style such as Arial and black font. Individuality is important, however, be selective and aware of how the recipient of your email may interpret your style. What do you think this font style and color convey?
Use an email address that is clearly and professionally you
The email address you choose to use should not be confusing, too personal or your family account email. Your email address should contain your name, such as firstname.lastname@example.org or if you have a common name, consider using your middle initial or some variation of your full name email@example.com or johnathan_j_doe@xmail. Avoid using your birth date, numbers or information that would make your email difficult to recognize.
Don’t use humor
It is difficult to convey humor or sarcasm in writing, therefore, the safest bet is to avoid it. The same is true for “LOL” or other modern acronyms or abbreviations frequently used in texting. These may get lost in translation and cross the line into “too personal” or familiar.
Never use emoticons in emails
Email is not the same as texting. Smiley faces or any other type of symbol used to convey emotion or feelings could be perceived as unprofessional and therefore, avoid using them in all of your job search correspondence.
Copy in the appropriate people
Be selective when copying other people into your messages. If you’re following up on a job posting submitted to human resources, don’t copy the company’s CEO or others of high rank. Nor should you copy in your mom, dad, career counselor, or others as a way of keeping them up-to-date. The receiver of the email will see these and may wonder why or may even feel threatened in some cases.
Wait to send an email if you’re angry or frustrated
It is best to wait until you’re less emotional before sending a message. You may think your tone is neutral or you may even feel it is within your right to be angry, but do not ever send an email that is emotionally charged.
Use a professional email signature
A professional email signature leaves a lasting and invaluable impression, and setting up one to appear in every message saves you time. Your signature should include your name, primary phone number, and job title, or work you’re seeking. Adding your LinkedIn profile URL is certainly a valuable addition as well. Consider how you reference messages sent from your mobile devices too. You may want a slightly different and shorter signature to indicate it is being sent on-the-go. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to separate yourself from the pack.
You can get instructions on how to set up your email signature block here.
Always check spelling and grammar
Double and even triple check your emails to prevent careless errors from slipping through. Build a process for reviewing your work before you send it. Even one simple typo can convey you lack attention to detail.
Read this for more help proofreading your email messages.