When you email a potential employer, having proper etiquette is essential. After all, you only get one chance to make a good first impression, and a single misstep can harm your chances of landing a job with the company.
However, even though the stakes are high, that doesn’t mean writing a clear, compelling and respectful email is hard. If you want to use proper email etiquette when reaching out to a potential employer, here’s what you need to do.
Be Clear on the Subject Line
At times, it can be tempting to try and stand out with your subject line, submitting something quirky or “clickbaity” to get the hiring manager’s attention. However, you’re better off being clear about your intentions and leaving your subject line simple and concise.
If you’re submitting your resume for a current vacancy, use something simple like, “Application for Open Position – (Your Name Here).” If you have the precise job title or position ID number, feel free to add those. Otherwise, resist the urge to embellish.
If you are cold emailing, make your subject line a compelling value proposition that doesn’t have an overtly salesy tone.
Use Their Name
Ideally, before sending an email, you want to discover the name of the hiring manager who is receiving the email. Spend some time researching who it may be on LinkedIn or the company’s website if it isn’t included in the job announcement. Then, you can use their name in your opening salutation.
If a job is posted anonymously, then defaulting to “Dear Hiring Manager,” may be acceptable.
Talk About Their Needs
When you’re emailing a potential employer, it’s tempting to focus on selling yourself or to concentrate on what you want. However, if you consider your target audience and explain how you can provide value to them, that’s a better approach.
Let the reader know precisely what you can do to help them achieve their goals and leave your needs on the backburner.
You also want to express your excitement and interest in either the vacant role or the company as a whole (which may be necessary when cold emailing). Discuss what inspired you to reach out near the beginning of your message, as this can help you stand out for all of the right reasons.
Be Careful With Name Dropping
While mentioning you worked for a competitor or with a current client of the company can be helpful, you don’t want to drop random names in the conversation that don’t provide value. For example, if you met an industry leader at a conference once, that isn’t worth discussing as it can actually make you seem unlikeable.
However, if you are close with an employee who is excelling in their role, mentioning that connection can be beneficial. You can share how they tout the company as a great employer or even how they recommended you apply.
Attach (Don’t Paste) Your Resume
Resumes are often heavily formatted, and if you copy and paste it into the body of an email, things are almost certain to go awry. Instead, attach a copy of the document or provide a link to a Google Doc set to “view only.”
When you close out your email, you want to reiterate your excitement for the role, thank the hiring manager for their consideration, and let them know you look forward to discussing the opportunity with them. Then, when you add your signature, make sure to include basic contact details, such as your phone number and email address, so they can reach you with ease.
Looking for a new job?
By following the tips above, you increase your odds of following proper email etiquette when reaching out to a potential employer. If you would like to learn more, the skilled professionals at PrideStaff can help. Contact us to discuss your career goals and see how our services can help you take the next step today.