At some point, most people will send or fill out a job application. As most business and organizations have an online presence, more people are sending job applications via email. How do you send a great job application email that will make you stand out and increase your chances of getting that job? We will share 7 tips for writing excellent job application emails.
Statistics and research by Radicati Group from February 2015 estimate the number of emails sent per day (in 2015) to be around 205 billion. That means a ginormous amount of emails are sent from one place to another on daily basis. E-mail has made communication infinitely faster. Where it used to take days for letters to get from one location to the other, it now takes the click of a button. Some people go through dozens, even hundreds of emails every day. Human Resources Managers deal with large amounts of correspondence every day. There are few things more monotonous than going through hundreds of job applications.
If HR is reading your email out of a hundred, it’s important you write one that gives a great impression of who are and what you have to offer to the company/organization. Here are 7 tips to make your job application email stand out.
- Follow Instructions: Before you do anything, read your application instructions carefully. Some recruiters are very specific about how they want their applications tailored. They will indicate what to include in the subject column, who to address the mail to (E.g To: Human Resources Manager”), and provide guidance on specific points they would like you to address in the email. If there are no instructions and you’re asked to simply apply, then follow the rest of the tips and be as professional as you can.
- Take care of your Subject Line: The first thing that will stand out in your email is the subject line. The subject line often determines whether an email is opened and how the recipient responds. An email with a blank subject line will probably get deleted, lost, or immediately irritate the receiver. It forces them to think extra hard about the content of the mail. If I have dozens or hundreds of emails to go through on a tight schedule, I may be tempted to discard one without a subject or an incomprehensible subject. Make it as short as you can stating exactly what the email is about. The most effective subject lines are between 5-7 words or 30 characters or less. Make sure you follow the instruction for the application. If the recruiters asks you to write in Capital letters, do so. If they ask you to use a particular word, ensure you do that. For example, Follow this tip, and your emails are sure to stand out.
- Who To Address Your E-mail To: You are most likely sending your email to the HR Department, unless otherwise specified. Try to find out the name of the head of Human Resources or Director or whoever you are sending to. Addressing them by their name will give your cold electronic email a more human touch. For instance, instead of starting your email “To: The Recruiter, Eden Care Initiative”, you can write “To: Edith Wharton, Recruiter, Eden Care Initiative”. And then go on to address her- “Dear Ms. Wharton, I am….”. It gives the email a personal feel which a lot of recruiters like.
- Write an engaging first paragraph: Draw in the recruiter with your first few sentences. Remember, many of them scan through lots of emails, so you should be precise enough to let them know you know what you’re about. E.g “Dear Ms. Wharton, I am writing to apply for the Sales Manager position currently available in your company, Duboit Enterprises…”
- Keep it Short and Simple but be creative: Keep your emails short and simple. Don’t ramble off with irrelevant details that will make recruiters roll their eyes. Try to hit all the relevant points about the application. Recruiters don’t mind some creativity in your application. Use the opportunity to show them who you are. Give specific details about why you feel the position is best suited for you. Don’t be afraid to be a little conversational. If you are asked to send your Resume in a separate file, affix it as an attachment.
- Know the best time to send emails. There isn’t a certifiable guaranteed best date to send in an email. If there was, everyone would send on that day. However, there does seem to be a perception that certain days are better than others for opening and responding to emails, especially if you’re writing to an organization.If you want your emails to stand out, you should take note of the following. Mondays are the beginning of the work week. It can also be an overwhelming day for most people. It’s a day to catch up on last week’s leftover work and generally ease into the schedule of the new week. Inboxes are usually overflowing with unopened emails from the weekend. If you must send an email on Monday, give it a few hours, and send around afternoon time to increase your chances of being seen. Tuesday on the other hand is thought to be the best day to send an email. Having worked through the grunge of Monday, people are better placed to tackle their correspondence. Wednesdays and Thursdays are a little less popular than Tuesdays, but your chances of visibility are still quite high. Fridays are challenging because most people are already thinking of the weekend, and are not trying to focus on work. Still give it a go though. Saturdays and Sundays used to be quite unpopular because people tend to switch off on the weekends. With the rise of smartphones however, many people still check their mails on the weekend. But don’t expect a response till after the weekend.
- Signing Off: Sometimes your last word can leave a lingering impression on the recipient. Try to make it positive. You can use words like “Best Wishes”, “Sincerely”. Encourage the recruiter to respond. Phrases like “I look forward to hearing from you”, “Looking forward to your prompt response” can push them to respond faster to you. Ensure you sign off with your full name. Check your email options to find out how you can customize your name and contact details to automatically appear at the end of every letter. This is especially useful if you are sending a large number of mails for a singular purpose. A customized signature will surely make your email stand out. Also, include your contact information. Your phone number (and home address, if necessary).
- Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!: In the world of emails and job applications, you are only as good as your typos and grammar. You can install editing software that can help you detect obvious errors. Your Word Processor would also usually point out some grammar and spelling mistakes. Still take the time to go through your work once or twice over. Check your spellings! Have someone else proofread your application. If you can get someone already in the field, that would be great! Be sure the recruiter is judging you on your spelling, grammar and presentation.
- Research the Company. Look online. Get as much relevant information as you can on them on and offline. Job sites like LinkedIn can help you network professionally and get insight from other people in the company you’re applying to, or get other resources and support that may be useful.
- Follow up! Waiting to get a response can be excruciating. Recruiters can’t always respond to all the job applications they get. It’s fair to give a couple of weeks after the deadline for sending in your application. If you don’t hear anything back for a few weeks, write the company an email asking about the status of your application. Include all your details, such as your name, the date you sent it and contact information. Even if you didn’t get the job, the recruiter may be prompted to send you a regret email, so you can close that door and look for other options.