Basic Etiquette

Basic Etiquette

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Email – Makes It Easier

Email was a differentiator at first (mid 90's). When you emailed your resume, you stood out from the crowd as "net savvy." By the late 90's, email became the "standard" way to reach someone.

Today life does not move on without internet & mails, hence it is always a good idea to email your resume, it is a time saver for both you and the others.

So, what should you do?


* Follow the employer's directions, if any are given.


If they specify a "receiving" address on the job posting or the Website, send your resume to that address. If they have specified what goes into the subject line of the message (like the job posting number), be sure to do that, too.

This isn't limiting your ability to do some "guerilla marketing" in addition to the following-the-rules process to help you stand out from the crowd. However, it is demonstrating that you are capable of following directions and have some respect for their processes. So follow the directions and also use your other approaches, if appropriate. (See #7 for another idea)

* Don't use your current work e-mail address (if you are still employed) for sending your resume to a new employer.

This is a very good way to become unemployed (most employers monitor email traffic, so they'll see that resume go out)! And, it doesn't show a new employer that you are very loyal or respectful of your current employer. It doesn't make you a very appealing applicant.

* Send a separate message to each potential employer. Even though it may be easy to do, avoid doing mass emailing.


Messages with multiple addresses are a sure way to trip a spam filter's alarm and very bad 'netiquette to boot. If you're not careful, it can reveal all the other employers you are courting and demonstrate that you are not willing to spend much effort on any of the employers listed.

In addition, a cookie-cutter message will not be focused on that specific opportunity (the requirements of the job, the employer's situation, etc.). So, it may not get through, and if it does get through, it won't be effective.

* If possible, send your email on Tuesday or Wednesday.


    The weekends, Mondays, Fridays, and late Thursdays are typically times with a high volume of spam, and your message may get lost in the junk.

* Use plain text format.

If your email software lets you choose a font face, do bolding, and add a pretty background to your outgoing messages, you are using HTML email. Not good. HTML email can trigger the spam filters and often looks different on someone else's computer, so use plain text. It's safer from both a technical and a usability perspective. So, change the format of your email to plain text when you are sending out a resume or corresponding with an employer. [With Outlook Express, be sure that the black dot is beside the words "plain text" when you look at the drop-down list under "Format" in the New Message window's toolbar.

* Attach your resume.

It is always better to attach your resume than copying the content and pasting it in the email.

* Look for alternative ways to reach people.


Use the Internet to reach the employer, and then follow up offline. For example, if you want to work in the sales department of a company, find the VP of Sales on the company Website, and then call the company to verify that the person is still there and still VP of Sales. Once you know the name of the person in that key position, send a "beautiful resume" (Joyce Lain Kennedy's term from her latest resume book) via snail mail - NOT email. Your "beautiful resume" is the one in word processing format, with bullets and bolding and a fancy layout - designed to showcase you and your capabilities.

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