The Right Way to Email Recruiters

Most job postings would require candidates to apply through e-mail, making this your very own "electronic handshake."  This creates a first impression on you, so how formal should you be.

Like dressing up your best for an interview, e-mails should be just as professional and polished.

Check your grammar and sentence structure – If you don’t like typing a sentence starting with a capital letter, or do not mind about the inconsistencies of verb tenses, then prepare for a really long job search.

Eliminate funky fonts and distracting backgrounds – Making "cute" e-mails is not amusing at all.  Just stick to the Courier font face used in most e-mails (the one that looks like typewriter letters).  Also, do not use animated signatures as it doesn’t impress the recruiters as well.

Avoid being too casual – Remember, this is an introductory e-mail, not an IM.  Avoid using chat abbreviations like "btw" (by the way) as well as not completing your sentences.  Stick to what your English teacher has taught you by treating e-mails as formal letter, without the addresses on top.

Avoid using a quirky e-mail address – Sending e-mails to potential employers using "" is not professional at all, and you might get even laughed at.  Use an e-mail address with your name as a handle like "

Provide you cellphone number – You could also leave your mobile phone number as a contact number, just make sure your voicemail message is appropriate, which means eliminating music.

Customize your e-mail on each send – Don’t be lax by copying and pasting every e-mail to every recruiter.  Customize your e-mails according to whom you are sending it.  For instance, use part of the job description you feel matches your own skills or experience and explain why you would be good for the position.

Get to the point – Don’t use gimmicks hoping to attract attention, like complaining about gas prices as your introduction.  Messages should be straightforward and concise.  Recruiters only have seconds to devote on your e-mail as they would have to read hundreds of others competing for the same position.  All you have to do is to explain these right away:  the title of the positions you have held, the companies you have worked for, and your educational background. 

You can attach your cover letter on your e-mail – It is often debated whether to type your formal letter on your e-mail or not.  Well, you can, and you can also attach your formal letter on your e-mail.  If you are planning to do the latter, the text of your e-mail should just say:  "I really want to work for your company, please see attached resume and cover letter."  Include why you want to work for the company in a brief sentence.

Don’t be too creative on the subject line – Just submit your e-mail with the headline "Experienced candidate seeking position as [name of position]" or "Experienced candidate seeking position with [name of company]."  You could use one word to describe yourself in the headline, but do not go overboard.

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