9 Tips on Creating a Professional Emailed Job Application
With the advent of the Internet, many of us have the opportunity to apply for work through email.
However, just because this is the Internet and email is so fast and convenient, that does NOT mean you should give up professionalism and polish!
FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT. I recently looked over a few emailed applications, and let me tell you, it was an eye-opening experience! Here are a few examples of how *not* to do things...
- One person simply forwarded the job description to the hiring company. There was no explanatory letter, no name (just some garbled email address), no nothing. Why should a company want to hire someone who can't be bothered to make an effort?
- Several people got the name of the hiring party wrong. Some misspelled it, others substituted someone else's name.
- Spelling mistakes, typos, grammatical errors, and formatting problems like you wouldn't believe. One person said that her greatest strength was her attention to 'detal' (should have been 'DETAIL'); another said it was his responsibility to 'a tent to customers' ('ATTEND to customers').
It almost goes without saying that you should always follow the application instructions provided. If you're inquiring or applying for a job - regardless of whether it's online or in the 'real world' - there are certain rules of etiquette that apply:
- GREET THE PERSON. Don't just barge in and start writing. A simple "Dear ___" is great.
- CORRECTLY SPELL THE COMPANY NAME AND THAT OF THE HIRING MANAGER. If you don't know how to spell them, take a few seconds and find out.
- INDICATE WHAT POSITION YOU'RE APPLYING FOR. Be specific; the company may be hiring for more than one job.
- PROVIDE A BRIEF SUMMARY OF YOUR RELEVANT SKILLS. Keep it short and to the point.
- CHECK YOUR SPELLING AND GRAMMAR. It takes just a few minutes. If you are not confident about doing this yourself, ask a friend or family member to check it over for you.
- BE COURTEOUS! Don't make demands. Remember that the *only* thing the hiring manager sees is your email - he or she can't see your facial expressions or body language, so take extra care in the words you select and how you put them together.
- FORMAT YOUR EMAIL TO 60 CHARACTERS PER LINE. Many email programs automatically 'word-wrap' somewhere between 60 and 70 characters. Add a hard return when you reach 60 characters on a line; this will ensure the company gets a nicely formatted application, just like you intended.
- TELL THEM HOW TO CONTACT YOU. As the bare minimum, leave your phone number and email address.
- AND FOR GOODNESS SAKES, TELL THEM YOUR *NAME*. This is so obvious it's painful, yet I've seen dozens of applications there are not signed. End your letter with 'Sincerely', 'Regards' or 'Yours Truly', and then sign your name.
Competition for home based jobs is fierce, and companies can afford to be choosy. Don't give them a reason to pass you by! Professionalism still counts - even on the web.
Angela is the editor of Online Business Basics, a practical guide for eBusiness beginners. You can find OBB along with solid home business ideas, freelance and telecommuting job updates, free magazine subscriptions, and much more at eWorkingWomen, http://www.eworkingwomen.com/join.html. Come find out how you too can work from home!
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