Loyal readers have heard me say this before. You cannot underestimate the power of perception. And that applies to your email communications!
Prospective employers will not have the signals we all rely on in person. No eye contact, your firm handshake or your body language to determine your sincerity and professionalism.
They hang on the words you use and how you choose to use them.
Employers will only have how you communicate to decide if you are someone they want to follow up with or possibly hire. This is why your approach, style and ability to cater to their submission requirements will be critical.
The economy is firing on all cylinders with what seems like endless new opportunities. With that applying for employment online has become commonplace. When it comes to your online employment communications and submitting your resume there are some best practices to consider.
Every Detail Matters
Every key you hit in a business email will give to, or take away from, a positive perception. Applying for a job is a business email after all. How you approach prospective employers online can go a long way to getting that all important follow-up.
Rare are the jobs that do not require technology skills. Many businesses now require you understand the basic variables of using email as part of your responsibilities. Even if you’ve never communicated a lot for business via email, now is the time to hone those skills.
If you are going to use technology to job hunt, you have to make sure you show the skill set to do so impressively. Or you could end up being excluded right out of the gate.
10 Online Job Application Tips
- First check the prospective employer’s website for requirements on submitting your resume or CV for consideration. Not doing so will show a lack of attention to detail. As well as the inability to follow instructions.
- Do not send unsolicited email resumes. Most employers will offer an available opportunities area on their website. If they don’t, pick up the phone and find out — before you send without notice.
- Send your resume to the specified address provided on an employer’s site for resume submissions. And follow their instructions to a T. Do not arbitrarily send to any email address you find or worse, send multiple copies to multiple addresses. Take the time to check the employer’s site to find the proper address to use. If you are not sure — ask first!
- Format your resume in PDF format to make sure cross-platform viability. By doing so your information will display as you intended regardless of what operating system the employer or recruiter may have.
- Keep your resume limited to a brief cover letter stating your interest in that specific opportunity. Your resume need not be more than a page or two that highlights your experience and previous job experience. You can note you are happy to offer more information upon request.
- Refrain from formatting with text colors or adding photos or graphics to spruce your resume up. If you wouldn’t add it to business letterhead, don’t add it to your resume.
- Do not use Return Receipt to track when/if your email is opened. This may be considered intrusive and will most likely be declined anyway.
- Have a friend review your email, cover letter and resume to catch any misspellings or grammatical mistakes that you may have missed.
- Formality matters. Use the highest level of formality in your introduction email. Include the basics describing the position you are interested in and note your contact information.
- Finally, if you receive a reply, respond promptly and thank them for their time and consideration. Regardless of if it is good news or not you want to leave a professional and positive final impression. You never know what the future may hold.
Planning and Presentation
To make a professional impression, one that contributes to you having the best chance to be considered, use these tips. By taking your time and doing your due diligence you’ll rise above other applicants that disregard these details. To your success!