Nothing is more frustrating as a job seeker than sending an e-mail out and not getting a response or even knowing if it was received.
You might be doing several thing to block you from even getting to the employer’s inbox and you could look more professional when your e-mail does arrive in the inbox.
#1. Your e-mail address should be your name and it should be on your resume as part of the header. If your name is John Smith, try using your middle initial or even your whole middle name. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
#2. Don’t put numbers in your e-mail address. It looks unprofessional and if you ever look closely at your spam filter, many of the e-mail addresses in spam have numbers. Keep yourself out of the spam filters.
#3. Don’t use cute names or hobby names. If you are already doing #1, I shouldn’t have to say this, but I have resume clients every day who give me addresses that saying things like: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Most of the time, I will tell my clients to change their address or set up a new one for their job search.
#4. Don’t use your business e-mail. Even if your employer says it is ok because you have been downsized, it is much better to use your own. Prospective employers don’t know if you have permission and in case an opportunity comes up down the road, you want that e-mail to get to your personal in-box. This should be obvious, but employers do look at e-mail from their employees and will terminate people for abuse of company property (which includes computers and e-mail systems.)
#5. Use a reliable e-mail provider. You should be able to access your e-mail from anywhere. If you rely on a system that can only be accessed at home, you might miss a job offer or request for an interview. I set my clients up on gmail.com (Google mail.) My IT specialists have recommended it as the most reliable free program out there. If you have your own website for your job search with your own domain name and you can access it from anywhere, that is even better. Website: http://johnsmith.com so e-mail: email@example.com
#6. Check your e-mail. This also should be common sense but check your e-mail at least daily, preferably morning and night. I check my e-mail much more than that but I have run into job seekers that tell me they rarely check their e-mails. I have helped clients with uploading resumes into online systems. Most send an auto-response immediately but sometimes a real person sends an e-mail that instructs you on the next step in the process.
#7. Use a signature block. I did a quick scan of e-mail from clients and I found that most don’t have a signature block and the few that did were using business e-mail addresses and signatures. (see #4) What is a signature block? Jason Alba covered this recently. I look at mine regularly but it should have contact information in it. Your name, e-mail address, cell phone number, home phone if you are using it for your job search. Below is my current signature which is obviously a business signature. Yours should be personal.