Communication and Networking
In today’s job market, actual applications are becoming less and less common. Instead, most employers are often only asking for 3 items—a cover letter, a resume, and a list of references. In addition, these items are most commonly sent via email. Therefore, since this initial email will be your potential employer’s first impression of you, it is absolutely essential that you construct a concise, professional email. Below are some do’s and don’ts of composing a professional email.
- Use a professional email (i.e. your school or current work email, or a simple email address like, firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Include a brief, but descriptive subject line (i.e. Teacher Application for John Doe)
- Be sure to include a greeting in the email (i.e. Dear Dr. ___, To whom it may concern, Dear Search Committee, Dear Sir or Madame). The greeting that you use will vary depending on who will be reviewing the job application, which you will find out when researching your job
- Treat the body of the email like a letter. Use proper English and complete sentences
- State the purpose of the email (applying for a job, thanking someone for meeting with you, trying to establish an initial contact or an initial meeting)
- Address any attachments that are included with the email (i.e. Attached, you will find a PDF document containing my resume, cover letter, and references)
- Be as concise as possible. Your potential employers are busy people, and you want to respect their time
- Be sure to thank the recipient of your email for their time and consideration
- Include a closing
- Include your contact information
- Use spellcheck
- Proof-read several times
- Have someone else read over the email to catch any typos you may have missed
- Use a casual e-mail address (email@example.com or JD4eva@gmail.com)
- Neglect the subject line
- Treat the email like a text or use shorthand.
- You should always treat an email with potential employers like a formal letter, NOT a casual conversation
- Use emoticons
- Write or send an email in haste
- Make sure you put adequate time and thought into composing and reviewing your email
- Remember, in this job market, email will most likely be how you make your initial impression!
While social media websites can be very beneficial in networking with potential employers, they can also prove to be very detrimental to your chances of getting a particular job, or in actually keeping a particular job. Although it may be fun to post pictures from last weekend’s party so that everyone can relive it on Facebook, you should seriously consider whether or not you want your potential employer to see that side of you. In addition, you also need to consider whether or not you want your potential employer to view your postings or rants on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
As a general rule of thumb, if you would not feel comfortable sharing certain photos, articles or opinions with your current or potential employers in person, then you should not put them up on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media outlet. Remember, once something is out on the internet, it is very public, regardless of privacy settings.
Avoid the following:
- Posting photos of you out clubbing or at wild parties
- Posting photos of you drinking alcohol or consuming drugs
- Posting provocative “selfies”
- Posting photos of you doing “dumb” things
- Posting rants about your current or previous workplaces—social media is not the place for venting about your work environment!
- Engaging in controversial debates