By Dorcas Karuana,
A common complaint that I receive from job seekers is that they don’t get responses to their e-mail employment applications. There are two aspects to this concern: not sure that the e-mail application was delivered or can’t understand why they didn’t get to the next step of the recruitment process.
The first point is more of a logistics issue. I used to think that it was unimportant for employers to have automatic responses to e-mail job applications acknowledging receipt. Now though, after getting this question so often from job seekers, I wish that all companies would implement some form of automatic receipt of the application, to give peace of mind to candidates (and those that work at Internet job sites).
The more interesting question is what becomes of your e-mail job application once it arrives. The motivation of the second question above is: I feel that I am perfect for the job as described – why am I not getting invited for an interview? This is one of the most critical yet difficult pieces of information to ascertain.
1. Lack of a subject or a meaningful Subject Line- Ensure that your subject line is informative and pertinent by including the title(or Job code) of the position you are applying for. I have lost count of the amount of applications that I have received with no indication of which job is being applied for. Employers/placement companies have many job openings at the same time, and if it is not immediately evident which job you are suited for, then usually I will lose interest and move on to the next application. For example, “Jane Nungari Application for Product Manager.
2. Lack of a cover Letter- If there is no cover letter, or it doesn’t do a good job of introducing your CV, and since there are plenty of other candidates, then there is a good chance that a hiring manger will invest time in reading someone else’s resume. Use your cover letter to convince the employer that it is worth their while to read your CV. The cover letter should not be a repeat of your CV; instead it should answer the question “why should I hire you?” Remember your objective is to get someone to read your CV; the goal of the CV is to get called for an interview.
3. Lack of explaining why you are a good candidate - In the email, don’t just say I am applying to position X and attached is my resume. Summarize why they should care and get a jump on looking at your attached resume. It’s a like a shorten version of a cover letter. The best way is to use bullets as people can read it faster and keep it short (1-2 sentences each) describing why you think you are a great fit for this job. Look at the job description and use their terminology or synonyms to cover all the areas where you have experience.
4. Warm Referral - The best opening line in an email would be “persona X recommended that I contact you regarding this position.” This mean the receiver knows person X and that person is implicitly endorsing you for this position. So before you send in a job application email; see if you can find a warm connection to that company or hiring manager. A warm introduction is still the best way to apply to a job
5. Call to follow up- email is not always reliable. You could end up in the spam folder or overlooked just because the receiver is swamped. If you don’t hear anything in a week, call to follow up to see the status of your job application.
6. Lack of following instructions- Show that you have read their instructions carefully by following them. For example, if they ask you not to phone, or do follow up emails then do not do so. If you are asked to quote the salary, please quote a range or an exact figure or if you are asked not to attaché your certificates do not attach them. Also, if you are asked to give your age, just state it.
7. Grammatical errors in your email. Proof your email and attached CV extremely carefully. Employers or Human Resource personnel will react negatively to grammatical and spelling errors. Do not rely on software spell checking only. Use at least one other careful reader to proof read your writing.
8. Lack of a professional email Address? Choose an email address that reflects your name instead of something which might make you look ridiculous in a business setting. It is a good idea to set up a special account for your job hunting emails. What seemed like a funny and cool email address while you were in college, or just sharing emails with friends, may not be a great address to create a professional image with an employer. E. g firstname.lastname@example.org, may not portray a serious professional focused on their career
Today some employers ask you to email them. Since most of us use email in a rather casual fashion it is useful to take your time and write carefully. Do not sacrifice quality because of the ease of using email. Remember that applying for a job is a serious matter and business etiquette is important.
Dorcas is a Recruitment Officer. Corporate Staffing Services. email: email@example.com. Web address. www.corporatestaffing.co.ke
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