APPLYING FOR A JOB ‘LESSON 101’ – EMAIL, THE RULES

Twosteps global legal jobs and law career adviceFor the vast majority of you this will just be a source of amusement but there are a couple of serious issues at stake.  What is the point of applying for a legal job only to be knocked back at the first hurdle because you think your email address is creative and funny or your email is written like a 17 year old serial text pest. Legal employers are not looking to interview you for your sense of humour, unless of you course you are going to be the next Seinfeld.

  • A professional e-mail address

I am constantly amazed, horrified and amused by e-mail addresses of jobseekers.  To your friends you may be known as ‘sexkitten’, the ‘lovemachine’, ‘thunderpants’, ‘thebeast’ or some other pseudonym but to a law firm, accountancy practice or corporation you may just manage to raise a smile on the face of the HR manager on a bad day or just irritate them.  Either way you are not going to get an interview with a serious job on offer.  It is really not that hard to select a professional email address from the millions on offer and keep that for all of your correspondence with potential employers.

  • E-mail style and content

Write your email as you would a covering letter or how you would write to a customer or client.  Email is of course slightly more informal but it is still a reflection on you and your attitude to behaving professionally.  Spelling mistakes are seen as laziness and unless you are applying for a job as an intern at a social media company or the latest advertising agency, write properly with proper words and sentences. This is crucial for professional services, for example legal jobs, where a spelling mistake or grammatical error can mean immediate rejection.

  • Reply to emails quickly

There is nothing more irritating that sending a detailed email and receiving no reply or acknowledgement.  Do not just assume that the sender knows you have received it, it only takes a second to acknowledge it and again sets the tone for all communication with your potential employer.  It is a pet hate of HR managers.  I have always had a rule as company policy that all e-mails must be acknowledged the same business day or within 24 hours at the very latest.  Lastly when replying to or forwarding e-mails remember to delete all information which is not relevant.

Further Reading:

http://sbinformation.about.com/od/ecommerce/a/emailtips.htm

http://esl.about.com/od/businessenglishwriting/a/bizdocs_3.htm

http://www.businessemailetiquette.com/

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