Since many employers request job applicants to submit cover letters and resumes online, you will want to compose a wellwritten email message to introduce yourself in a professional manner. Basic email etiquette, also known as ‘netiquette,’ requires that you take a formal approach to business correspondence to insure your message is clearly understood and does not offend the reader in any way. Before you begin to draft an email to a networking contact or potential employer, keep in mind that the style of communication should be similar to that of a traditional business letter and not the casual style or conversational approach used with friends. These letters include writing to professionals requesting an informational interview, applying for job openings or sending thank you letters following an interview.
When applying for a job, you have the option of using a brief email stating you have attached your resume and cover letter for a specific job title, or you can use your cover letter as your email. It is important to follow any detailed instructions from the employer about how to format your documents (e.g., Word or PDF) and if a separate attachment is requested to include your resume and cover letter in one document. (View link with sample email and cover letter to employer: http://www.jobweb.org/resumesample.aspx?id=784.)
Here are some guidelines for sending professional emails:
- Use Precise Wording for the Subject Line. Use the subject line appropriately so the recipient will quickly get an idea of the content of the email. This is helpful when a reader sorts and prioritizes action items in a full inbox. (e.g., Application for Library Assistant from Mary Smith)
- Wait to Add Email Address. Compose the body of your email before you add the email address of the contact person just in case you accidentally hit send before you proofread your entire message.
- Use Concise Statements Not ‘Texting’ Language. Be concise when you compose your sentences so you get your message across in an easy-to-read format. Brief clearly written statements should not include ‘texting’ abbreviations and acronyms such as ‘u’, ‘2’, ‘BTW’, ‘TTFN’, or ‘LOL.’
- Be Accurate. Use proper spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar. You may be ruled out by some employers because of even minor errors. Avoid typing the entire message in all capital letters or lower-case letters.
- Be Respectful. Address all recipients using proper titles such as Ms., Mr., or Dr. A first name is used only if the person has asked you to call her by that once you have met her. Use ‘Hiring Manager’ to address the employer if a contact name is not available.
- Identify your Document. Include your last name in the file name for your resume instead of just resume.doc. It will be easier for employers to locate your documents when they are ready to screen and review all the job applicants’ documents.
- Avoid Using Emoticons.
- Use Your Professional Email Address. Select an appropriate email address for all job search correspondence — one idea is to use your first initial and last name.
- Create a Job-Search Email Address. Consider using a separate email account for your job-search-related correspondence. This will help you track your job-search correspondence and review emails quickly and respond to employers’ emails efficiently.
- Consider Using a Signature. Using a signature block which includes all your contact information creates a professional look to your email. It should include your email address and your mailing addresses and phone number.
Adapted from the following resources: http://www.jobweb.org/resumesample.aspx?id=784 http://www.iwillfollow.com/email.htm http://careerplanning.about.com/od/communication/a/ email_etiquette_2.htm http://jobsearch.about.com/od/jobsearchemail/qt/ emailmessageformat.htm
Article by JoAnne Amann
Visit the Career Education Center
Have a brief question? Need your resume or cover letter reviewed? Stop by for a 15-minute session with a career counselor.
When: Mondays and Tuesdays, 3:00-4:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 1:30-3:00 p.m.
Where: CEC, Suite P304, 3rd Floor, Palace Road Building.
Make an Appointment with a Career Coach by calling 617-521- 2488 or visit the CEC at Suite P304, One Palace Road.
Workshops in the Career Resource Library
Tuesday, September 21, GSLIS Job Search Resources & Professional Networking. Swing by the Library classroom (LIB- 225) and discover where to hunt for LIS-specific job banks, paraprofessional postings, internship resources, networking opportunities, and job-market-trend information. This workshop will provide you with skills and resources to conduct successful job searches and career-advancing networking opportunities. L225, LeFavour Hall. 5 - 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, September 29, Presentation Skills for the LIS Job Search. Want to learn how to give a presentation as part of the LIS job interview? Need to prepare your slides, handouts, and yourself, but don't know where to turn? Then come to this workshop. We will give you the tools you need so that on the day of your interview, you are ready to present yourself and your knowledge to employers. Career Resource Library, P304E, One Palace Road Building. 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
GSLIS Continuing Education
GSLIS CE is offering a variety of workshops this fall, including They’re Googline You: Online Identity for LIS Professionals. For all the listings, click here: http://www.simmons.edu/gslis/ careers/continuing-education/workshops/online.php CE is also offering a series of four Book Arts workshops: http://www.simmons.edu/gslis/careers/continuing-education/ workshops/offsite.php.