Applying By E-Mail

The Insider's Guide To Job Search

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Applying For Jobs By E-Mail


Have you ever applied for a job over the internet, sending your resume and received no reply?

We see many unsolicited resumes come in by email and the senders are making some common errors which lessen the chance of their resume being reviewed or even opened.

The three things to remember are:

- Identification
- Explanation
- Communication

Employers and recruiters often receive resumes with blank space where the email message text should be, no name on the file attachment and no telephone number contact info in the email.

If you are taking the trouble to send an email message, say something about yourself in it. With the prevalence of viruses and trojans on the Internet, you run the risk of having your attachment not opened and the whole message being deleted if you do not provide identification.

Hiring managers appreciate the courtesy implied when they see a file attachment with the sender's name as it makes it easier to find on their desktop or documents folder when it is saved for scanning for viruses. Anything you can do to reduce the time it takes to read your message and its contents is to your advantage.

When I see a blank email message with an attachment I think of one of two possibilities: a) the sender doesn't want to make the effort to communicate their intentions or b) the sender may be attaching a virus.
Take the time to type a message which confirms your identity and indicates the reason for the message. Include your telephone number and the best time to reach you.

You do not have to write a long letter, just a few short sentences will suffice. State why you are writing and what it is in reference to if it is a posted position or advertisement. If possible, avoid attachments altogether and paste the text of your resume into the email message. This really saves the reader time and almost guarantees that your message will be read. If you must use an attachment, make sure it is in a common format (.doc, .txt) nothing unusual as the reader may not be able to open a little used format.

To avoid having your attachment deleted or ignored by AAT software or firewall controls, reduce the size of the file. Do not send zip files and  eliminate any fancy graphics which may increase the file size. Anything I receive over 60KB-75KB I tend to consider as a potential virus. Anything over 100KB is a waste of your time to send.

Use your "Subject" box in your email message to confirm the basic reason for your message. A blank subject box combined with a blank message and an attachment will virtually assure that the message is deleted by experienced email processors. Nobody wants to take the risk of opening an attachment which may or may not be genuine.

If you take the time to complete your message and save it as a template for use with modifications according to the position you are applying for, your message will convey an attitude of professionalism and you will increase the chances of being reviewed for the position you are applying for.

See also our article on "E-Resumes: What Works Best"

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