Best Practices for Emailing Hiring Managers
The email is often the first point of contact between you and a prospective employer, and can determine whether or not you are considered for the position. Below are some tips to help you get the most out of your initial emails.
What To Do Before You Email
One of the most difficult things for someone looking for a job is simply being buried in the mass of emails that pour into a recruiter when a job is posted. Just like with a resume, most emails look the same, text on a page that is all the same color and design. How do you get that recruiter to even give you a cursory glance when your submission looks like everyone else’s?
Even if you do not have a mutual connection, you are not without recourse. Searching through the prospective employer’s LinkedIn page can provide you with new connections you can reach out to and introduce yourself. Twitter is another excellent place to locate the recruiter, and send them a brief message of introduction. No matter which category you fall into, the goal is to make sure you get the chance to let your email shine, instead of being overlooked.
Creating the Email
Once you have your foot in the door, the next thing is to make sure that the recruiter likes what they see. There are certain do’s and don’t’s to a successful email, which are outlined in detail below.
- No Cutesy Email Accounts: Most people like to throw a bit of pizazz into their email addresses. Things like LovelyLady34@yahoo.com for the social butterfly, or NYJetsRule@netscape.net, for the football fan. While these are enjoyable to use personally, a prospective hirer will view them negatively. Simply your name will usually suffice, followed by a number if it is unavailable.
- Make Your Subject Line Pop: Even if you used one of the two suggestions for what to do before writing the email, your subject line is still extremely important. Any points you scored for reaching out personally are increased exponentially if paired with a headline that truly pops. Be sure to put the position you are aspiring to, as well as what accomplishments you have achieved that put you above all the rest. Remember, you only have 50 characters, so keep it short and sweet.
- Make It Your Own: One of the easiest ways to sound the death knell of your chances of getting a job is to simply cut and paste generic content in your initial email. Templates with a few subbed in keywords look like you spent no effort on being considered, which is anathema to what a recruiter is usually looking for. Look at what is involved with each job specifically, and tailor your email to address it directly and individually. Sticking in some personality is another good way to show that being considered is truly important to you.
- A Little Courtesy Goes a Long Way: While it may seem obvious to be on your best behavior when contacting a recruiter, it should be one of the chief things to concentrate on. Include a polite greeting, and a friendly, yet professional, tone throughout the email. Always end things with a salutation, followed by your name.
- Get To the Point: Given the sheer volume of emails received by a recruiter for each position available, usually a couple of seconds, to a minute, is all they will spend on reading yours. This makes it oh so important to get right to the heart of the matter in as short an order as possible. Start out with the things that make you shine the most, accomplishments and achievements that you are especially proud of, and deal directly with the job you are vying for. Unless they ask for specific information, which you would then lead with instead. Short and targeted paragraphs, as well as bullet points, are excellent ways to make it more readable.
- Check, Then Double Check: One of the easiest ways to get yourself shot down before your email has a chance to work its magic is by making simple punctuation, grammar, or spelling mistakes. Check your email thoroughly, then put it aside and busy yourself with another task. Come back to the email a second time, with fresh eyes, and check it over again. You can even shoot it over to a trusted friend, if you want a new set of eyes to check it out.
Always arm yourself with these helpful tips before you send out any emails to any coveted jobs. Using them is an excellent way to snag the attention of any hirer, and cause them to slot you in as their first, and most promising, interview.
This article was updated on June 28, 2017