Contacting a potential employer can be stressful, intimidating and most of all, confusing. How do you know how to address them, what is the correct thing to say?…These are all common questions with some helpful answers.
We all know that to create a great first impression can be hard when meeting new people, and even harder when done electronically. In order to make sure that you make a wonderful and professional first impression on that screen separating you and the one you want to impress most, there are a few things you must remember.
Address Appropriately. When in doubt, always address your email with “Dear”, followed by the appropriate title such as Dr., Mrs., or Mr. Simply do your research. Search them on their appropriate sites according to profession in order to give them the correct title. Nothing comes off more unprofessional then sending a “Hey Nancy,” as opposed to “Dear Professor [insert last name],” for example. A small fix that many fail to make. Due to the fact that this is your first line of your email, failing here can crash and burn the entire email in a matter of seconds. Respect is key. Of course if you know the individual and you are on familiar terms, a more informal greeting can be made. However, use that with discretion.
Be Concise. Chances are that the individual you are trying to reach does not have time to sit down and read pages of email. People are busy creatures and creatures of ease. Therefore, get straight to the point about what your purpose of emailing is, the goal you are trying to attain, and a follow up statement signifying that you will follow up to check the progress that your resume, for example, has made in this employers hand’s and place of work. Sending this form of statement shows that you are willing to be persistent, also signifying that you will work hard to get the position you desire.
Make the Subject Line Clear. Before sending an email, do not forget to fill in the subject line of the email. Make this also concise, short and to the point. Adding your name and position that you are acquiring for can also help differentiate your email from the masses of material that swarms our inboxes daily. You do not want to take the risk of losing your email amongst the masses so this is extremely important to do. In my case, I fill this line out first. That way, it is never forgotten about.
Be Professional. When writing out the email in it’s entirety, skim it over and make sure your grammar and tone is correctly directed towards the individual you are trying to reach. Do not be lazy and put care into what you write. Read it over, read it out loud, read it to perfection. This also will show the individual that you are able to double check your work which, to your advantage, pushes you on your way to a great first impression in this cyber world!
End Appropriately. Ending your email with a signature such as “Thank you for your valued time,” “Regards,” and “Sincerely” are all good choices. Again, be respectful and try to keep these closings uniform in some way.