• The Correct Use of Email in Your Job Search

    May 16, 2014 by
    Blue square button for email

    Blue square button for email. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Technology can be a great tool. Email is fast and often times efficient, but in today’s society it is often overused and/or used incorrectly in a job search. Not only have we seen the incorrect use of email cost candidates a job offer, we’ve also seen it slam a door on a relationship with a future employer.

    We thought it might be helpful to break the interviewing process down and discuss the dos and don’ts when it comes to email:

    Resume Submission and First Contact with an Employer:

    1.      Attaching a brief cover letter to your resume and emailing it to a recruiter or to a potential employer is fine, but keep your letter brief and make sure you spell check and grammar proof everything. A poorly written letter or resume allows for an immediate “delete”.

    2.      Don’t email your resume as a bulk email. Nothing is a bigger turn off than feeling like a candidate is pitching his resume to everybody hoping something sticks. Personalize your email as well.

    During the Interview Process:

    1.      Do send thank you notes after each interview, whether it is a phone interview or in person. Email is fine for this, but again, do double check your work and keep it brief.

    2.      Often times, companies will ask that you fill out your applications online or submit online, which is fine.

    3.      If you have particular concerns or questions about the job or your responsibilities, we highly suggest you have a real conversation over the phone—or in person—if your questions are more than a few. Concerns don’t necessarily translate well in email form and can come across the wrong way.

    Negotiation and Final Decision Making Process:

    1.      Do send thank you notes after each interview, whether it is a phone interview or in person. Email is fine for this, but again, do double check your work and keep it brief.

    2.      A good rule of thumb as you get closer to receiving/accepting or declining an offer is to use email ONLY for setting up time to talk one on one.

    3.      Negotiating an offer should be done in person or over the phone. I don’t know a single attorney who says they won a case emailing back and forth. I would say the same holds true to negotiating your next career step as well.

    4.      NEVER use email to decline a job without picking up the phone first to call your recruiter or first point of contact in the interview process. Keep in mind multiple people have invested much time and effort to get you an offer, and one way to close a door forever is to shoot off an email saying “Thanks, but no thanks”.

    5.      If you are accepting the offer, you can certainly do so by email. Most companies want a signed offer letter, but again, nothing works as well as the personal voice.

    As a general reminder, tone and inflection are not reflected in an email like they are with your personal voice. Make sure that your email communication is polite and brief and when in doubt, pick up the phone.

    Recruiting Services Group (RSG, Inc.) is an executive recruiting firm. They have been placing top HR, Supply Chain, and Operations Management talent for the past 20 years with a variety of companies, ranging from mid-tier and private equity to Fortune 50. To see current open jobs, or to find out how we can help your organization find top talent, visit us online at http://www.rsgexecsearch.com

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