E-mail Correspondence

If you’ve had an interview with a prospective employer, a thank-you note is a good way to express your appreciation. The note can be e-mailed a day or two after your interview and only needs to be a few sentences long, as in the following:

SAMPLE

Dear Ms. Jones;

I just wanted to send a quick note to thank you for yesterday’s interview.  The position we discussed is exactly what I’ve been looking for, and I feel that I will be able to make a positive contribution to your organization.  I appreciate the opportunity to be considered fro employment at XYZ Corporation.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need further information.

Sincerely,

Jane Smith

Remember, a thank-you note is just that–a simple way to say thank you. In the business world, even these brief notes need to be handled with care.

Corresponding Via E-mail

For most of us, sending and receiving e-mail is simple and fun. We use it to communicate with friends and family and to converse with our contemporaries in an informal manner. But while we may be unguarded in our tone when we e-mail friends, a professional tone should be maintained when communicating with prospective employers.

E-mail is a powerful tool in the hands of a knowledgeable job-seeker. Use it wisely and you will shine. Use it improperly, however, and you’ll brand yourself as immature and unprofessional. Dr. Sherry Reasbeck, a San-Diego-based career counselor, warns that some e-mail mistakes leave a bad impression. “It’s irritating when the writer doesn’t stay on topic or just rambles,” says Reasbeck. “Try to succinctly get your point across–then end the e-mail.”

Be aware that electronic mail is often the preferred method of communication between job-seeker and employers. There are general guidelines that should be followed when e-mailing cover letters, thank you notes and replies to various requests for information. Apply the following advice to every e-mail you write:

  • Use a meaningful subject header for your e-mail, one that is appropriate to the topic.
  • Always be professional and business-like in your correspondence.  Address the recipient as Mr., Ms., or Mrs., and always verify the correct spelling of the recipient’s name.
  • Be brief in your communications. Don’t overload the employer with lots of questions in your e-mail.
  • Ditch the emoticons and acronyms. While a LOL (laugh out loud) may go over well with friends and family, do not use such symbols in your e-mail communications with business people.
  • Do not use strange fonts, wallpapers, or multi-colored backgrounds.
  • Sign your e-mail with your full name.
  • Avoid using slang.
  • Be sure to proofread and spell check your e-mail before sending it.

When you’re dealing with employers, there is no such thing as an inconsequential communication. Your e-mail says far more about you than you might realize, and it is important to always present a polished, professional image–even if you are just e-mailing your phone number and a time when you can be contacted. If you are sloppy and careless, a seemingly-trivial communication will stick out like a sore thumb.

Tips

In addition to the guidelines stated above, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you spell the recipient’s name correctly. If the person uses initial such as J. A. Smith, and you are not certain of the individuals gender, then begin the e-mail, “Dear J.A. Smith.”
  • Stick to a standard font like Times New Roman, 12-point.
  • Keep your e-mail brief and business-like.
  • Proofread everything you write before sending it.

While a well-crafted letter or e-mail may not be solely responsible for getting you your dream job, rest assured that a cover letter or e-mail full of errors will result in your being overlooked. Use these guidelines and you will give yourself an advantage over other job-seekers who are unaware of how to professionally converse through writing!

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