Email Etiquette - Job Search Correspondence

  • Keep your reader in mind - consider the employer's industry type and the recipient's job title.
  • Pay attention to employer requests. Most employers will encourage e-mail correspondence and discourage other types of communication, or vice versa.
  • Create highly professional and succinct online communications - i.e., utilize proper spelling, grammar, punctuation, formatting, salutation, and signature.
  • Be considerate of other people's schedules and responsibilities.
  • Respect the reader's privacy and online accessibility. Do not share a recruiter's personal e-mail address with your friend unless you've received permission.
  • Be specific and brief in both your subject heading and your document - clearly communicate your reason or goal for writing the e-mail.
  • Proofread often.
  • If you are not certain whether an e-mail communication is appropriate or not for your particular situation, ask for advice from Career Services or someone you trust.

Other Email Tips

  • Include your e-mail address on both your cover letter and resume.
  • Reevaluate your e-mail alias and/or signature to determine their professionalism.
  • Double-check the employer's e-mail accessibility - ask him/her if e-mail is convenient.
  • Decide if you want your cover letter in the text of your e-mail accompanied by an attached resume OR if you want to attach both a cover letter and a resume to a brief introductory e-mail.
  • If applicable, let the reader know what word processing program and version were used to create your attachments.
  • If an employer discourages the use of attachments, another option is to include the content of your cover letter and resume in the body of an e-mail.
  • Keep your electronic correspondence simple and neat. Remove excessive formatting and stylized text.
  • Avoid "emoticons" (creative uses of punctuation) to communicate your thoughts or emotions.
  • Scan document(s) for viruses prior to sending.
  • Be aware of where and to whom you are submitting your resume or other online correspondence.
  • Remember to be professional, kind and accurate in all online communications

Sending your Resume Electronically

  • Keep your resume simple. Fancy bullets, italics and bold text do not convert well in an electronic format.
  • Microsoft Word or an Adobe Acrobat file (pdf) is the standard for sending your resume to most companies.
  • E-mail your resume to yourself or a friend and see how it looks.
  • Spell check and proofread your resume before submitting it to a company.