Email Etiquette when Applying for a Job

Your email approach might be the make-or-break difference that lands you the first interview, or gets you the job...


These days, as communication is constantly revolutionized, the classic job application letter has been largely replaced by its modern alternative, the job application email. However, the basic rules one must follow in order to be considered for a position in a business still stand. To be thorough and inspire seriousness, there are a few stages of the letter you've got to cover.

Addressing Your Email

To begin with, when addressing the person who will process your application, if you don't know for sure who that will be, it's best to be gender indiscriminate. The most common form used is "Dear Sir/ Madam".

State Your Intention

Secondly, you state your intention. Don't worry about your email sounding too standardized, these phrases is universally accepted, with all their variations: "I am writing with regards to the job you advertised.../I am writing in response to your ad..." and then mention the source that provided you with information about the vacancy, for instance a newspaper or a website.

Introduce and Promote Yourself

The next step is, of course, first to introduce and then to start promoting yourself. When making a brief description of yourself, try to be as succinct as possible and limit it to your name, address, age and current profession. Most people choose to continue by writing "I consider myself suitable for that position because...", and the reasons follow.

It's recommended to keep the information about your studies and professional training straight to the point, and if additional information is needed, simply attach your resume/CV. Only the parts that are relevant for that particular position should be included in the email, to avoid becoming tedious.

Highlight Your Strengths

Experience in that field is a big plus, so feel free to elaborate on that, for example the names of your previous employers, the period of time you worked for them etc. Moreover, don't forget to mention any additional accomplishments which might be a bonus, such as awards or promotions. It's also beneficial nowadays to state your level of computer operating skills, and also bring up other skills you might have, such as speaking one or more foreign languages.

To present themselves in a better light, most people, when applying for a job, draw attention to some of their social skills which are related to the working environment, such as being able to work well in a team (it's quite a significant point to make), handling pressure, working effectively within a deadline, punctuality or perfectionism. Some add ambition to that list, whilst others would rather steer clear of that term, as it might transpire a lack of modesty and aspirations to step up the ladder in a company that hasn't hired them yet. In other words, it might spell "I'm after your job".

In other words, it's prudent to list a few of your qualities, but not to overdo it.

Finish Cleanly

Then, if required, give reference details as well, so your potential employer can verify some of the information you've given. To further show your interest, the norm is to conclude with "I'm looking forward to hearing from you". Lastly, before signing your name, end the email in a respectful manner, such as "Best regards", "Yours faithfully" etc.


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