Love it or hate it, email is here to stay. It is one of the most useful tools for communicating vast amounts of information efficiently. Sure, many of us love the text message, but it is nearly impossible to emoji-fy a job application (if you want the job, that is).
Since email is still a top means of communication in business, we thought it might be wise to provide 5 Top Emailing Tips for communicating via this electronic medium to ensure your communications come across as powerful and professional.
So here goes:
1. Remember the Attachment
We have all done it, and we have all been on the other end, slightly irritated and frustrated, and never happy. Sending that email that informs the user to ‘see attachment’ when no such attachment exists. Luckily many email programs now warn you before you fire off that job application without attaching the resume, but don’t count on it to save you. The message here is to take your time on every letter, read and re-read, and be sure you are comfortable with the content from soup to nuts before you hit that send button.
2. Get to the Point
While email allows us to send a great deal of information instantly, this does not mean we should send endless gobs of attachments and ramble on without getting to the point. Define the purpose of your message and use only those words that explain it clearly and cleanly. Make it as easy for the recipient(s) to understand just what the main subject of your message may be and come to that point in as few steps as possible. Edit, clean, and format your text to make things as simple as possible to understand.
3. Stay on Point
Often, as we craft our emails, we lose sight of the original message and begin to fall off track. As we type, we also think, and sometimes new ideas come at us at breakneck speeds. We start adding on to the original concept with new and exciting additions.
Don’t! Stay on task. You can record your additional thoughts but be sure to use your editing skills to remove extraneous text once you complete with your stream of consciousness. If you uncovered new thoughts or ideas, copy them off to a separate document to be dealt with in your next communication. Email should be efficient, and because of the way it is consumed, it is best to address one point at a time. Emails with long, rambling phrases that introduce multiple topics are often filed away for later, which usually means never seen again. Particularly with job searching – stay on target. Explain who you are, what you want – and keep it polite, succinct and professional.
4. Spelling (Part 1)
Use spell check. Again. And again. Spelling errors are entirely avoidable using tools like WhiteSmoke and Grammarly, as well as countless built-in spell checking tools like those in MS Word. Take the time to do a complete spelling and grammar check before clicking send – not once – but twice. Copy your text out of the email and check for errors using a second, different tool like Grammarcheck to be sure you have identified any pesky mistakes. Spelling errors might not cost you the job, but they certainly won’t help you.
5. Spelling (Part 2)
Your spell check came up clean? Congrats! However, you are not out of the weeds just yet. Remember that grammar also matters. Spell check often only looks at the way words are inherently spelled, though some tools will also question your grammatical choices. The only correct answer here is to proofread every message, carefully. Check (and double check) your words: two, to, or too? Their or there (or even they’re), and the all-time favorites your or you’re – all of which may be spelled correctly but can be woefully inadequate, grammatically speaking, when misused. Since most students learn proper grammar in school, there is no excuse for spelling and grammar mistakes on your resume or in professional emails. Bad grammar will reflect poorly on you as a person.
Finally, make sure you have the company name and recipients name spelled correctly – double-check names and titles on LinkedIn if you have any doubts. No one likes having their name misspelled; it shows a general lack of attention to detail, not the message you want to send in a job application.
So to conclude, let’s face it, we all make mistakes from time to time, but the job application process is one occasion where it really matters. Take the time to ensure that you send the best messages that you can. Make every effort to deliver a well-constructed, clean email the first time – addressing the subject at hand directly and efficiently – and you will save loads of time in the long run backtracking or clarifying.