When it comes to landing an internship or job, many places have started reviewing applications through email. While this allows you to easily apply for a vast listing of potential positions, you run the risk of getting lost in the flood of responses to a given listing. These quick and simple tips will increase the chances that your email is opened and make a good impression once it is, boosting your chances at that all-important job interview.
1. Use a Professional Email with Completed Profile
While it might seem obvious, this one tip is often overlooked. Email accounts are simple to create. If your normal day-to-day address is not suitable for applying, create another and use it instead. In many cases, the address supplied by your school is ideal. It is not only often professional, but provides additional credibility through its .edu extension for avoiding spam filters and gaining the attention of the recipient.
Take a few minutes to look over the profile for your email as well. Be sure that both first and last names are correct and complete. If using a signature, make sure that is appropriate for the job and include contact information where possible. Including addition networking information, such as portfolio sites or LinkedIn profiles, can provide valuable information to the recipient as well.
2. Optimize Your Subject Line
With potentially hundreds of emails waiting to be reviewed, an attention-grabbing subject line can help separate you from the pack. Ensure that it is clear that the email pertains to a job or internship application. For example, “Regarding Your Summer Internship Programs” is concise while still providing enough text to stand out in a sea of short subject lines.
Even better, include a brief summary of qualifications, such as “Application for Web Design Internship – 2 years experience – BA in Graphic Design”, to really get attention. Before they’ve opened the mail, they already know why you are a better candidate than the rest. Of course, you should also check to ensure that the application process does not require specific words or phrases to be used in the subject line as well. This method is often used with forwarding or as spam filtering. Fail to follow and your email will likely never be seen.
3. Proofread Everything
A single glaring typo could be all that stands between you and the job in question. While most word processing and email programs will often help to catch errors in your resume or point out errors in the body of your email, there are a few areas that can sneak up and surprise you. Always check the subject line before sending your email.
If you are using a separate signature, you should take time to check that as well. Finally, review your subject and email to ensure it meets any requirements listed by the receiving party. If in doubt, a simple message detailing your strongest traits and an attached resume will often suffice.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Follow Up
Even with the best systems, sometime emails are lost in the spam folder or simply overlooked. After a week or longer, if you have not been contacted, place a quick call to follow up on your application. This can show confidence and initiative while providing a valuable chance to interact in a more personal way with the people you could be working with shortly. If possible, practice placing the call a few times to ensure you are ready for any impromptu questioning and communicate clearly.
The sheer amount of competition for jobs requires a smart approach to marketing yourself. Use the above tips to get an edge.
About the Author: Robert Woodford has been writing about topics around email for companies like Reachmail for more than a decade. When not writing, generally Robert is at home with his family or at the gym training for his next triathlon.