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Resource: Career Advice
How to Use Email to Get a Job
Thursday, March 01, 2012

Spam emails are so rampant on the web that many people tend to ignore most of what's in their inboxes. This may be a big mistake, however, as you might be deleting an major opportunity hidden among the spam.


Email is far from being obsolete, you can't do everything is done via instant messaging or through social networks. Emails offer a form of communication that other platforms can't simply replace which is why companies still use them as a means of notification. Use your email to its fullest potential and take as much advantage of it as you can. Here are some tips to optimize your email usage in your job search:


1) Your Email Address
Nothing says unprofessional more than an email address that is informal or a nickname. You're email address should include your name and some numbers. But if you've only been using "foxylady123" all these years, you will have to create something more appropriate for a professional and corporate setting. Nothing hits a recruiter's funny bone more than a silly email address. Getting other people to talk you seriously starts with taking yourself seriously.


2) Cover Letters
Cover letters go into the body of an email when you send out a resume. They're extremely crucial to the job search process because they tell the reader more about you than what you put in the email. It's your chance to introduce yourself and add a backstory to your resume. People often just send resumes without a word, another big mistake. Your ability to communicate and represent yourself well through a cover letter lets the reader know that you are personally speaking to them and genuinely interested in getting the position.


3) Follow Up
It's much easier to follow up through email than via message not to mention it's also more genuine. Things that take time require more thought and the more thought you put into something the more the receiver can appreciate your effort. Email is the perfect balance between new school and old school. It has the same traditional feel of a written letter only it's through a digital medium.


When you follow up with someone you want to begin a correspondence that will create a valuable contact in your network. When you meet people make sure you find out about their interests so when you email them later to stay in touch (and to referesh their memories) you want to strike up a meaningful conversation whether it be career-related or not.


4) Job Alerts
Job alerts are a crucial email resource that should not be wasted. When looking through online job boards you always want to opt-in for email job alerts that notify you of jobs that you're interested in. This will also help do some of the filtering for you as you pursue your search elsewhere. Make sure to change your email settings accordingly so that they don't go unseen into your spambox. If you're signing up with many different sites, it might be helpful to create labeled folders for alerts from each site to go into so you know where to look for which one.


5) Proofreading
When you think you're done with your email read over, then read it over again. But before you hit send, leave it alone for 5 minutes then come back to it with a fresh mind. Even if you think you caught all your mistakes the first or second time you'll probably be surprised to see some left over. Writing is always a work in progress so you won't be completely satisfied every time you have to change something in your email, but don't spend all day trying to make it absolutely perfect. It doesn't have to read like an award-winning novel, it just has to be error free and make sense and when it is that means it's time to send it.


Don't let the use of your emails go to waste. They're still around for a reason. Job alerts, correspondance, network building...emails are a great way of making contacts with people in the industry along with the help of social media. They add a personal touch and allow you to talk more in-depth with people as opposed to a brief message. Even though the use of networking informally through social networking is becoming more commonplace in professional industries, you can't substitute what you're able to say in an email with an instant message or profile message.