Proper Text & Email Etiquette When Applying for a Job

Posted May 09, 2014

Companies today are increasingly using online platforms to connect with prospective candidates and explore their interest in job openings at their firm.  Even though e-mail, instant message, and social media communications are generally regarded as an informal place to connect with friends and families, it’s still important to keep these communications professional when speaking with employers.  What you say and how you say it can make a difference in whether or not your get the job.  Even a tweet or sloppy LinkedIn message may be used as a judgment of your qualifications.

5 Texting and Email Tips to Consider When Applying for a Job

Keep subject lines clear and relevant.
When sending an email, it’s important to write concise, relevant subject lines.  A subject line can often determine whether or not the recipient even reads your email.  Nothing is more annoying than an email with no subject at all or a misleading subject.  In fact, many organizations spam folders will catch all emails that don’t have a subject.  It is best to stick to the point and keep the subject short and simple.

Avoid long messages.
How many times have you opened an email or text message and cringed at the novel before you?  Long emails can be intimidating and most recruiters won’t take the time to read them.  Therefore, it’s important to keep any communication regarding employment situations short and to the point.  Use lists, bullet points, and short sentences to make your message easy to read and understand. This will show that you’re respectful of the reader’s busy schedule and don’t want to waste their time. Don’t clutter the e-mail with more information than is necessary.  When answering questions make sure to answer all questions in the same email and fully explain your answers to avoid unnecessary churn. 

Watch your tone.
Be aware of the fact that tone is often inferred, not expressed in email and text communications.  Your goal is to come across as respectful and approachable.  You don’t want to sound snooty or demanding. Use of all capital letters gives the impression that you’re yelling and is often difficult to read, so avoid using the caps lock key.  Also don’t assume just because a recruiter is informal and silly that you should be too. 

Be professional.
Even though email and text messages are more informal than traditional forms of communication, you still need to remain professional when using these vehicles in a business related manner.  This means staying away from abbreviations and emoticons. These are best avoided in an official email. Abbreviations often give off the impression that you are lazy and the recipient might not be familiar with your usage of the short forms. Stick to the full words and explain everything clearly. Don’t use typical text message slang and make sure your email address is professional.  While partygirl2012 may have been cute in junior high, it’s not going to get an employer to take you seriously. 

Proofread your messages.
Review both text messages and emails for spelling and grammatical errors before sending.  While spellcheck is a good starting place, it won’t catch places where words are spelled correctly but misused within the sentence context.  When using your mobile device or tablet to send messages, read over your messages to avoid any embarrassing autocorrect errors.  Always take one final look at the entire message before sending. This includes the “to” and “cc”/”bcc” fields, subject line, and entire body of the message.

Digital communication seems be a quick, easy concept, but when handling something as important as your job search, it’s essential to take a few extra steps to ensure you’re presenting yourself professionally. Slip-ups can easily occur in the process of sending a quick email that can ruin a person’s overall impression and level of professionalism.

If you’re currently looking to become a part of a trusted and employee-oriented team, All Team Staffing, All Team offers opportunities for candidates seeking temporary work or full-time permanent employment. We have offices in 30 different markets across the country and employ individuals across a variety of industries including but not limited to healthcare & environment, hospitality & food services, light labor, and administrative & clerical. Contact a recruiter today to get started.