Email and Text Etiquette for Southern Job Seekers

Posted May 8, 2014

Recent labor statistics indicate that more than half of all job searches originate or proceed entirely online and through email. And a recent survey conducted by SuccessFactors indicated that 39% of hiring managers have communicated with job candidates via social media, text or Skype.

But while the convenience, speed, and responsiveness of online communications can’t be beat, you still have to maintain professionalism in what you may be used to treating as casual communication. How can you make sure you still present yourself right when emailing and texting with potential employers or recruiters?


When Using Email:

  • Mind Your Manners: Use the basic courtesies you learned growing up, like saying please and thank you.  And address your emails to Mr., Ms., or Dr., unless you’ve met the recipient and they’ve let you know it’s all right to use their first name.
  • Make Yourself Clear: Use the subject line to indicate exactly why you are writing: “Application for XYZ position” or “Follow Up To Interview.”
  • Help the Reader: If you are responding to an email, include the original message in the reply, so the receiver can put your email into the correct context.
  • Help the Recipient: If you are sending your resume, name the document “your name, resume.” Employers receive hundreds of resumes via email and this will help them find yours faster. And use Microsoft Word to send your resume, but ask if the recipient would prefer to receive it in Rich Text Format or as a .PDF.
  • Watch Your Tone: Be sure to come across as respectful, friendly, and approachable, not curt or demanding.
  • Be Concise: Get to the point of your email as quickly as possible, but don’t leave out important details that will help your recipient answer your query.
  • Be Professional: Stay away from abbreviations and don’t use emoticons, like smiley faces.
  • Be Safe: Wait to fill in the “To” email address until you’re completely finished and have checked your email thoroughly for errors or information left out. This will keep you from accidentally sending an email prematurely.


When Texting:

  • Remember that this is business communication with someone who you don’t know well.
  • Spell out all your words; avoid using abbreviations and acronyms.
  • Avoid emoticons, which are not appropriate for formal communication.
  • Keep your communications short, but do include information that will heighten the recruiters interest e.g. the network applications role would be ideal for me since I just completed an advanced Cisco certification.
  • Carefully review texts before sending for spelling, grammar and unintended auto correction mistakes.
  • Always double-check that you’re sending the message to the right person. When you are carrying on several conversations at once, it’s easy to mix them up.

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