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Pointers for email etiquette

It has become more common for job seekers to be emailing prospective employers, and you may need to send an email at some point during your job search.

Perhaps you will email the HR manager to see if an opening is still available, thank a manager for the opportunity to interview, or ultimately, respond to a job offer. All of your correspondence should be representative of the top candidate you are, and the following are a few general tips for sending professional, impressive emails.

Before you begin your email, verify that you have the correct email address for your contact at the company. After you enter it in the recipient line, double-check it. You may want to add a “delivery and read” receipt option to your email to ensure that it went through correctly.

Keep your subject line simple and to the point, as it might determine whether or not your email is overlooked in someone’s inbox. If you are emailing regarding the status of a sales position, note “Status Inquiry of the ABC sales position with XYZ Company.” Maybe you are thanking panel members for the opportunity to interview, and you can type the subject line as “Interview Opportunity for ABC sales position.”

Begin your email with a salutation much as you would a cover letter. Always begin with something such as “Dear Mr. or Ms. XYZ,” or “Good morning/afternoon Mr. or Mrs. XYZ.” Double-check that you have spelled their name correctly.

The body of your email should be direct and concise. Briefly introducing yourself and state why you are emailing. For example, “My name is Jane, and I am writing in regard to the sales position with XYZ Company.” Avoid run-on sentences and long paragraphs: Most prospective employers have limited time. End your email with a closing such as “Thank you,” or “Sincerely,” and your full name. You can include your phone number, website address, or any other relevant contact information.

Do not use text slang or emoticons in your email. You may have an excellent email ready to send to an employer, but the professionalism will be lost if you end it with a “ttyl” or :). Do not use all caps in your email.


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Run spell check on your entire email and review for any grammar issues. Try reading your email aloud to catch any awkward sentences that your spell check and grammar check may miss. See if a friend or family member can edit your email.

Depending on your email topic, you may need to attach documents to your email. Always note any attachments that you have included in the body of your email. Look at the file size and type before you send your email. Files too large in size may overwhelm your recipient’s inbox. Try to send files in PDF when possible. Name your attachments appropriately, such as “Résumé for Jane XYZ” or “References for Jane XYZ.”

Investing the time and work into a well-drafted email will pay off when the employer sees how well you can communicate and present yourself in all of your correspondence, including an email. Email will not be your only source of communication with a prospective employer, so be sure follow up if you have not had a response within a couple of days.

This is a regular column written by the N.M. Department of Workforce Solutions. For more information, go to