Are You Making These 8 Job Search Email Mistakes?

EmailWhether you’re sending a job application or inquiring about networking opportunities, chances are very good you’ll send an email to a recruiter or hiring manager.

And in many cases, that email is your very first impression; it is how you are measured as a young professional. So any mistake could be costly.

As you write (and edit) your next email, here are eight mistakes you should avoid:

1. Being Too Formal

Whenever you write an email, it’s important to remember you’re writing to another human. Job seekers often feel like they have to be super formal when writing a networking email or inquiring about job opportunities. In order to make a positive first impression, address the recipient with a friendly yet professional tone.

2. Failing to Write an Attention-grabbing Subject Line

If your subject line is boring and generic, no one is going to take the time to read what you have to say. Your subject line must relate to the person you’re reaching out to and give them a reason to open it.

For instance, let’s say you’re following up with an employer after meeting a recruiter at a job fair. Instead of saying something simple like, “Hello,” say “Marketing professional following up from XYZ Career Fair.” This subject line automatically gives the recipient a way to relate to your message.

3. Sending Emails Without Personalizing

Many job seekers fail to do their homework when emailing employers their job applications, which causes job seekers to send emails without having a direct contact.

When writing an email, never address the recipient as “To whom it may concern” or “Hello.” If you can’t find a contact person on the company’s website, it’s essential to do additional research. Take the time to look on LinkedIn to find the name of the company’s hiring manger or a recruiter. This will enable you to email the right person and make your message more personal.

4. Knowing Nothing About the Person Receiving Your Email

In addition to personalizing your email, you should definitely find a way to relate your message to the recipient. For example, if you’re sending a networking email to a professional, talk about how you discovered their work and offer a compliment. This will make your connection much stronger and build a better relationship with the professional.

5. Writing a Message That’s Too Long

Although you want to write an impressive email that details every piece of your work experience, most people don’t have time to read emails that are more than two paragraphs long. As you write emails to employers, highlight only your best accomplishments that will make you stand out from other job seekers in your field.

6. Using an Unprofessional Email Address

If you’re still using your email to connect with employers, you might give off the wrong impression. Employers expect job seekers to use a professional email address when reaching out them about opportunities.

7. Failing to Proofread Your Message

This mistake might seem like common sense, but many job seekers tend to forget to proofread their emails before hitting send. While you might be eager to get your email sent, you’ll save your reputation by spending the extra five minutes to proofread your message a few times.

8. Failing to Follow Up

Many job seekers think they have to wait for the hiring manager or recruiter to respond to their email. However, playing the waiting game will hurt you during your job search.

Instead of waiting for people to respond, be persistent by following up. If you haven’t heard from the person within seven to 10 days of sending your email, it doesn’t hurt to follow up. People are busy and their inboxes fill up quickly. Don’t allow your email to get lost in the clutter and miss out on an employment opportunity.

What are some other common mistakes made when writing an email? What was the biggest email mistake you’ve every made?


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at ComeRecommended!




olivia-adamsAbout the Author: Olivia Adams is the Brand Manager at Come Recommended. She is a graduate of Ferris State University with a B.S. in public relations. Olivia has experience in content marketing, writing, social media, branding, and public relations.



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