When writing emails to super-busy managers, recruiters or business prospects, you need to make sure your email does not get lost in the mayhem of daily gush of emails. The average inbox is filled with hundreds of emails and your email if not articulated well, is sure to land in trash, if not, get ignored. The simple thumb rule is putting yourself in the shoes of the busy recipient, whose day rhetorically begins with wading through hundreds of emails ranging from updates, offers, promotions, spam and junk mails and responding to the most relevant.
To make your emails noticeable and reply-triggering, you need to understand the basics of email etiquette, especially during the job search phase, when you tend to be intolerant with delays in getting responses to your emails. An email can be effectively read and replied to, when one follows the simple tips given hereunder, coupled with presence of mind and logical reasoning.
1. Time your email appropriately
Send emails at a reasonably appropriate timing, so that it hits the inbox of the recipient when he is most likely to notice it. The rule is simple enough when you are aware of the time zones of the recipient. In case of people who are new to you, use the rule of common sense and avoid early mornings and late nights. Also avoid the 9AM rush in offices, as well as the 6PM-7PM zone when people are under proclivity to leave for the day. When you write to someone overseas, understand the time difference before you shoot mails. When you wish to take the personal help of someone who is an extremely busy person, choose late evenings or weekends.
2. Use concise and crisp subject line
The subject line of an email is very important. It must convey the holistic subject that it is intended to be conveyed in the mail. Yet it cannot be boringly lengthy. It must be capable of navigating the attention of the reader to open the mail without overlooking it. These days, people scroll through most of their mails in smart phones and the subject must be so aptly worded that it reflects the crux of your message and incites interest to open it, amidst his busy schedule.
Ambiguous: was wondering if I cud meet you around lunch time
Comprehensive: checking on your availability for quick lunch on 12th April, Wed at your office
Another instance is when you enclose your resume. Try to give the most relevant details so that the hirer, will be convinced to think it is worthy to open you mail.
Incomplete: sending you my resume for the admin opening
Coherent: Enclosing CV for Manager – Admin, 6 years experience, MBA, and willing to relocate
3. Pay attention to email labels and your email id
When you configure your email ids, you find yourself constrained for choice since your preferred email id is always taken by someone else. You are forced to use numbers or vague combination of alpha numeric characters. Try to be as unique as possible. Also be sure to fill both the first name and surname fields, since the recipient will get a firsthand impression of your professionalism only when your name is fully displayed. Funny and weird email ids should be avoided when you mail your resumes or write to recruiters. Loading your email id with too many numbers also does not work.
Pay equal attention to correct spelling of the target email id. Any mistake could result in bouncing back of your e-mail and if odds work against you, skipping to take note of email failed delivery notices will prove detrimental to job search efforts.
4. Maintain cordial and engaging tone
The tone with which you articulate your email increases the probability of your email to invoke faster reverts even from a busy person. Most candidates, in their urge to apply for more number of jobs overlook email etiquette. When you personalize your email, in an engaging way, the reader is sure to pay more attention to the email. Though there is nothing wrong in sending a one-liner, when you reveal a little more on your candidature, your email will grab attention.
Stereotype: Enclosed please find my CV for quality analyst position
Engaging: Delighted to share my CV for the opening of an quality analyst. As a post graduate in Behavioral Sciences, with 6+ years of working with the IT Major, Polaris, I am sure you will find my candidature relevant.
Highlight any certifications, names of popular universities or your outstanding achievements, in brief.
Instead of sending your email bluntly with your signature, be sure to add those finishing touches like “Hope you find this in order” or “Will be privileged to obtain a communication from your end”.
5. Link your email to context
Refrain from dropping emails to busy people, without mentioning the context. As a sender and a job seeker, you are super-aware of the context when a recruiter whom you have met asks you to send your CV next week for an upcoming opening. But the recruiter will hardly remember the context next week in between hundreds of mails. Cite the context of your conversation in the body of the mail and refresh memories of busy people. When someone recommends you for a job, mention his name in email.
6. Avoid lengthy emails
This is another common mistake made by over-enthusiastic job seekers. Since most of emails are sent online these days, your email is the first hand impression the hirer gets, even before he opens your resume. Busy people always keep lengthy mails for later and such emails have every chance of getting ignored. Include only relevant details that can keep the reader engaged, at the same time, not missing out on key ones.
7. Customize your email to different people within the same organization
This may be little time consuming, but it pays to earn favorable responses. From the perspective of recruitment, you need to write differently to the HR Manager and to the Operations or the Line Manager. While the HR Manager looks into fitment, consistency, academics, etc., the line manager is more concerned core competencies and skills matrix.
8. Draft error-free emails
Busy people have the habit of getting annoyed with poorly drafted emails and may discard them without second thought. Some quick tips will include:
- Watch out for typos, punctuation and capitalization errors. Sloppy grammar will not be tolerated.
- Do not capitalize or use jarring colors to attract attention
- Avoid acronyms
- Do not misspell names and designations
- Use the right title (Mr. or Ms.) and address the gender correctly.
- For first-time communications stick to Mr. Harry Thomson or Mr. Thomson, and you can go in for Mr. Harry or Harry, after few exchanges. Strictly avoid Mr. Harry Thomson sir or Harry sir.
- Do not forget to upload your attachment. Busy people are exasperated when you say you have attached your resume and you have forgotten to do so.
9. Include brief but informative signatures
Including a signature is always recommended, but again signatures should not dominate your email content. Be sure to include your mobile phone number and links to social media. You could add a line of courtesy as well. Avoid emotional icons or smilies. Most people do not configure signatures for their smart phones. Replace “sent from i-phone” with a short personalized signature.
10. Follow-up emails
This is another crucial area where job seekers are prone to commit mistakes. Common mistakes that can delay or nullify reply probabilities are:
- Not being tolerant and sending more than one follow-up mail in a short period
- Not including context, assuming that the recipient will remember the same
- Depicting intolerance
- Demanding a reply. Some job seekers even go to the extent of demanding a reply stating they have another job on hand.
11. Use relevant and apt keywords
This holds good for emails, cover letters and your resume. Go through the job description in detail and look for key words. Ensure that you use the keywords by placing them strategically without stuffing in them in an inorganic fashion. Emailing is an effective way of personal marketing. Articulating it in sync with demands of the target audience will elicit timely responses.
12. Avoid verbatim reproduction of your resume in your email
This bogs down the interest of busy recruiters and dims their avidness in opening your resume and responding. Include only carefully chosen highlights from your resume in your cover letter. Run-the-mill description of your portfolios handles and work experience can be elaborated in your resume and not in your email. To pitch to the top brass in corporate, your email must be crafted to perfection and must communicate resourcefulness and creativity on your part.
The pointers are to be used with reference to difference situations and in right measures to improve responses to your emails. For more personalized guidance and support in reaching your dream jobs, sign up with www.poachme.in, and get acquainted with top-notch strategists, seasoned in corporate communications and behavioral sciences. The talent markets is infested with thousands of job-ready candidates and to make your profile carve a firm imprint, meet our team of veterans in human resources who can kick-start your personal marketing strategy.