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Job searching has changed significantly since the Internet became a common channel for seeking employment. The submission method of job applications varies amongst different industries and organizations. You may need to submit your application through an online system that the company has in place, or you may apply in person and fill out an application form by hand. However, one of the most common way to apply for jobs, is through EMAIL. By thoroughly researching a company, composing the message of appropriate formality, and presenting your best self through email communication, you may be able to stand out from the crowd and land on your dream job!

What to Include in Your Job Application Email 

Your email job application works very similar as a cover letter. The intent of this email is to inform the recipient of your candidacy, the purpose of your writing, your best qualifications for the job, and how you will follow up or how the recipient can get in touch with you.

An email application could be considered as a “mini cover letter”. It is indeed the first contact you have with your future employer; it should interest them to want to learn more about you. Keep the email clear and concise. Explain who you are and why you are contacting them at the very beginning of your message. You want to grab the recipient’s attention once they open your email, and don’t expect the recruiters to read through your entire message as they may receive hundreds of applications on a daily basis. 

Also, you could include a business “signature” at the bottom of your email to present your contact information clearly to the recipient. Most importantly, make sure you attached your resume, cover letter, or portfolio to the email to provide more information of yourself as a candidate. Naming your attachments appropriately will be a great help. You could name your files by your first and last name so the recipient can organize your files with other applications they receive. Lastly, make sure all your files are accessible; Word (.doc) or PDF document are the most common and easy-to-access file types accepted by all companies. 

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Structure of the message

State clearly in the subject line the position (or the reference number) that you are applying forIf possible, address your email to a specific person. If one isn’t available, you can open with “Dear Hiring Manager” as in the sample letter above.

In the body of your message, you want to explain why you’re writing. Mention where you saw the job posting, whether it was on the company’s website or a job board. If you were referred by a friend or colleague, mention it as well. Briefly summarize the most important points in the first paragraph of your message, such as your best qualifications, relevant academic and work background, technical skills required in the job posting, your past achievements, etc. The beginning of your email should grab your recipient’s attention so that the rest of the message (including your resume) is read. Also, make sure not to copy your entire resume directly into the email.

At the end of the message, thank the recipient for reading your email and mention that your resume, cover letter, or portfolio is attached. This is also the place to thank recipients for their consideration of your application. You can also mention when and how you will follow up, and how they can contact you if needed.

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Follow instructions in the job posting

Referencing a job posting is important when you’re writing an email application. Most job postings include instructions on how to apply to the position. Not following the instructions on how to apply could result in your application being ignored. If no guidelines were provided in the job posting, be specific in the subject line. Mention the job title and/or the reference number of the position you’re applying for. A simple example would be: “Job Application: Customer Service Representative, reference ABCD123.”

Use positive and recognizable keywords

When you draft and revise your email, you want to make yourself as attractive to the company as possible. Incorporating keywords from the job posting in your email can make you more recognizable, and present a positive image of yourself. Verbs such as collaborate, cooperate, and promote; nouns such as team-player, self-starter, and responsibility; adjectives such as reliable, intelligent, innovative, and diligent will definitely help paint a great picture of your candidacy. Read the job posting thoroughly and pick out keywords and key qualities the employers are looking for, and use these words to better demonstrate your candidacy. 

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Be efficient, don’t waste the recruiter’s time

An email job application must to be easy to read. Keep the message short and clear, especially your first paragraph/sentence. Long paragraphs are daunting to the reader, and not likely to be carefully read or easily comprehended. Breaking up long paragraphs into smaller sentences will communicate your message better to the recipient. Summarizing and highlighting important points with bulleted lists can help the recipient recognize your best qualifications easily.

Last but not least, make sure you send your email application from a presentable email address. Send your job application message from an address that represents your personal brand is the best, examples would be “AMillstone@_”, or “AMillstone-MBA@_” or “AMillstone-CSR@_”. Don’t use a funny email address for your job search. Emails from silly email addresses look like junk or spam mail and can hardly be taken seriously by the recruiters.