4 Email Etiquette Tips for Your Job Search

by Susan Mullin

Use these email etiquette tips to communicate your professionalism

candidate at desk writing email with good email etiquette

When searching for a new role or preparing for an interview, you’re probably familiar with the standard best practices related to resumes, job interview, references and other key parts of the job search. There’s another important piece of the puzzle that many job seekers don’t think about: how email etiquette can help—or hurt—your job search.

Learn how to put your best foot forward with four tips to look as polished on email as you do in print or in person.

1. Is Your Email Address Professional?

From helping you get coupon codes at your favorite stores to keeping in touch with Aunt Mildred, we understand that you and your email address have been with each other for a long time. However, when sending a resume to a potential employer, make sure you use a professional-sounding email address for all correspondence. Proper email etiquette dictates that you use a more formal email address. It’s great that you were a huge fitness buff in the 00s but gymrat05@gmail.com is not the one to use on your resume or for email thank you notes. Be sure your email address is professional and represents your brand. An email address that reads as your first and last name is always a good bet.

2. Do You Have a Clear Subject Line?

We all know what it is like to have our inboxes flooded with email during the week. By ensuring you have a clear, informative and even catchy subject line, potential employers will be more likely to read it—and not mistake your email for a spam message. Be sure to create a sense of importance, avoid using ALL CAPS, and include action-oriented verbs to make sure your email is read. On the subject of email content, please make sure to spellcheck, use appropriate capitalization and punctuation (this isn’t a text message after all) and avoid emojis. Proper email etiquette is easy once you know what to look out for. When in doubt, choose professionalism.

3. Is Your Salutation Professional?

When trying to establish contacts during a job search, you want to ensure you are painting yourself in the most professional manner. When meeting someone for an in-person interview, you wouldn’t greet them with a “What’s Up?” and a fist bump would you? No! (We hope not?.) You would approach them with a professional salutation and a firm handshake. You want to be sure that your greeting via email creates the same impression. When trying to follow good email etiquette for your job search (and in general!), be sure to use salutations that match. Try sticking to the safe side by using “Hello” or even “Good Afternoon”.

4. Are Your Closing Salutation and Signature Up to Snuff?

The same goes for your closing salutation. Your sign off can be warm without being overly familiar. You can’t go wrong with “Sincerely” or “Best Regards” followed by your full name. For your signature, be sure to provide your potential future boss with your full contact information including phone number, email and your LinkedIn URL in your signature. Including your LinkedIn URL makes it easy for your potential employer to access your career history without digging around for your resume.

Emails are an important form of professional communication that can help you express your brand in the right way. Be sure to think of your email communication in the same way that you think about your resume, interview outfit, and references. Using professional email etiquette will ensure you come across as a serious and polished potential employee—and be more likely to get that job!

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Posted in , Job Search Tips