Optimize Your Email Communications

As a professional Resume Writer I see hundreds of resumes each year, and it never ceases to amaze me how little attention job seekers pay to their email address and email etiquette. Perhaps these suggestions will help:

Do not use your personal email address for job search communications.

  • First of all, many people have email addresses that reveal their nicknames, hobbies, interests, and much more that is none of anyone else’s business, let alone inappropriate for prospective hiring managers to read. An email address like sexygurl@xyz.com doesn’t exactly communicate a professional image, now does it?
  • Second of all, by using your personal email address when job searching, you will invite all kinds of unwanted spam into your email inbox, not only from people you send it to, but from the job sites you post your resumes on. Then there are the spammers who source email addresses from any and all locations, and the hackers, and the automated applications that skim addresses from myriad websites.
  • Third of all, if you sign up for one or more search agents, your inbox will be flooded with daily/weekly emails of job leads. That’s a good thing for the most part, but will all those emails cause you to exhaust your email client’s storage capacity?
  • Then there are all those viruses we’re always trying to avoid …. Get the idea>

Do not use your business email address for job search communications.

  • Ditto every point I made above. Do you want your company’s IT person coming after you for opening their servers to spam, viruses, or reduced storage?
  • Then there’s the fact that using company resources for private purposes is usually prohibited and almost always unwise – not to mention difficult to hide from corporate security measures.
  • Even more important, though, is the message you send to prospective employers when you use company resources to seek alternative employment. Is that really the message you want to send a hiring manager?

Set up a POP email account and use it exclusively for job search purposes.

  • If your ISP offers numerous email accounts, reserve one for your job search. If they don’t consider signing up for a free account from Yahoo, Hotmail, Juno, or even Gmail. When you land your new job you can close the account.
  • Why a POP email account? So you can access from anywhere on the planet at any time on any computer/laptop/email device.
  • Keep your email address professional – no nicknames, no hobbies, no hint of your sexual orientation. Keep it as simple as possible, too. You want employers to remember you, not your email address.

Set up your email account’s folders to help you manage your job search.

  • Save search agent emails in one place. If you’re applying for more than one type of position in your search, consider setting up search agent folders for each type of job.
  • Try using your email folders as tickler files. You can do this easily by naming folders according to the action needed (Calls to Make; Action Needed; Postings to Review; Postings to Submit; etc.) and/or by the date (Action Needed This Week; Postings to Submit in June; etc.). This will prevent emails from piling up in your Inbox.

Use your email signature as a personal commercial.

  • In addition to using your sig file to share your contact information, why not also broadcast some of your strengths? The same kind of information you include in your 30-60 second and 1-2 minute commercials should also be showcased in your signature.
  • Focus on the skills, experience, and achievements you bring to the table rather than the type of position you are seeking.
  • Include 1-2 personality descriptors and 3-4 of your strongest skills.
  • Keep it brief and highly focused.
  • Also include links to your online resume, portfolio, articles, and/or blogs, if relevant.

What other great suggestions can you contribute? Post them as a comment to this post.

About Cheryl Lynch Simpson

Cheryl is a Career, Job Search & LinkedIn Coach and Master Resume Writer. She has helped clients in >35 industries on 6 continents and has earned 24 global resume writing nominations and awards.