Email is the primary form of communication these days, and that’s especially true for international job applications and correspondences. You know how to use email competently, but you might not know exactly how you should be using it in your job search.
Here are a few tips:
Every time you send an application email out, BCC yourself.
BCC stands for “blind carbon copy”—it allows you to copy multiple people on an email without the recipients seeing who else received the email. By copying yourself in the emails in this clandestine way, you’ll get a record of every email you’ve sent. Even better, if you’ve got an email provider that allows you to set up automatic filters, have all of these emails sent to a folder labeled “job applications.” When you get called for interviews, preparation is a lot easier when you know what you’ve already sent.
If you’re applying for grown-up jobs, use a grown-up email address.
Unless you’re applying for a job in a Dutch coffee shop, email accounts like “firstname.lastname@example.org” are a terrible idea. Set up a new account with one of the many free email services—just use “email@example.com” or something similar. Even better, if you set up your own website, having an email with a unique domain name looks extremely professional—but again, only if the domain name isn’t juvenile.
Emails aren’t letters, so don’t pretend that they are.
When you’re writing cover letters, thank-you letters, or any other business correspondence, it’s important to use the right tone and formatting. However, too many people write emails as though they were cover letters—you have to know your medium. Don’t put the date in the top line, as you would a letter: that’s already done for you. Don’t introduce yourself in the first line of the body paragraph: again, that’s already done for you.
Dot your i’s and cross your t’s.
Check and double-check your email—and then check it again. As with any other job application in any other medium, an email with grammatical mistakes and typos will quickly get the delete button. So take the time to think about what you want to say, how you want to say it, and make sure it’s as professional on the page as it is in your head before you hit send.