Searching for a job can be either an easy task or a daunting one, depending on one’s circumstances. If you’re in a high demand field, have had tremendous success, and carry a vast network – it might be fairy easy. If you’re unemployed, in an area with few jobs, and have other obstacles – it can be much tougher. Either way, you would likely have some communication being done via email.
It’s hard to get around email and business communication. Thus, it makes sense to try to do it in a way that allows you to avoid making mistakes, while providing you an opportunity to succeed.
I recently saw an article on US News Money that discussed way that making email mistakes can impact one’s job search. Here are the 10 ways (paraphrased) they listed, along with my comments for each:
- Sharing an Email Account with One’s Spouse. I actually know one person who still shares an email account with his wife. Actually, make that two, as I think about it. One guy sent out an email to a group and needed to clarify that it was coming from him. Not work related, but he was a former coworker anyway. Bottom line is that it’s confusing and looks a bit odd these days to share email in any situation. For a job search, it’s senseless. I would recommend getting a completely dedicated email for job searching, separate from your primary personal email account.
- Having an Unprofessional Email Signature. Totally agree, and I find it strange how some people feel the need to have signatures. I’ve seen one guy with a saying related to his college being in his email signature. One can hope that he wasn’t corresponding with potential employers, or doing any networking, with such a signature. No need to provide anything that somebody could have a bias against.
- Using Unusual Fonts in Your Email. Might as well keep your email font totally standard. Again, why rock the boat by trying to stand out in this way?
- Using Email Stationary. I can’t imagine why anybody would want to do this. Keep it simple for a job search, and leave the flowery stuff for totally personal email.
- Making People Deal With Anti-Spam Filters. Again, do people really do this when job searching?
- Not Checking Spam Folders. Whether personal or professional, I have actually seen legitimate emails show up in spam folders from time to time. Best to do a quick check rather than instantly delete all.
- Sending a Mass Email with Resume and Cover Letter. Don’t do this. I think it makes sense to tailor each letter to the specific company, recipient, and position. Now, having a few general templates and structures to be applied to different communication does make sense in terms of saving time. However, I think it’s imperative to tailor communication in some way for each situation, which needs to be done with individual emails.
- Having an Unprofessional Email Address. It’s mind-boggling that people do this, but they do. I know someone that keeps his old sports jersey number in his email address. The glory days are great, but make sure that they aren’t a part of a job search (I would think he isn’t making this mistake). Also, think about which type of email provider you are using. As we have discussed before, there are some uncool email addresses out there. In other words, consider Gmail instead of Hotmail 🙂
- Formatting Your Email Address Like a Business Letter. With date, mailing addresses, etc – I presume. Come on, now. Nobody really does this, right?
- Using Your Work Account to Apply for Jobs. Unless it’s within your own company, it seems unreal that anybody would use their work email to network or apply for other work. Remember, it’s not your personal address no matter how long you’ve worked there, and they can probably see everything you’re writing and sending if they want to. Just use a dedicated personal email address!
My Questions For You
What do you think about these ways that people sabotage their chances? Do you agree with all of these?
Which of these is the most egregious ways people handle email with job searching?
What are some of the ways you’ve seen others (or you) make mistakes in job search communication?