Whether you are looking for permanent work or temporary work, first impressions are everything. When applying for a new position, the sole deciding factor that may be determining whether or not a potential hirer will be interested in an interview is often their first impression of you, which is based on your email to their hiring manager or recruiter.
Because of that, it’s important to be proactive, and professional, and make a great first impression.
Unfortunately, sending an impeccable email to a hiring manager can be easier said than done, especially if it’s your first time. To help you get started, here are a few tips on how to email a recruiter or hiring manager both to apply for and to follow up about a job application.
Setting the Tone
What you say in an email to a hiring manager is important, however, the manner in which you say it is almost equally as important. You don’t want to come off as too friendly and unprofessional, but you also don’t want to seem too scripted and robotic.
It’s too blunt to start the email off with the recruiter’s name alone, but something like “Hey there, [recruiter’s name]!” is usually far too informal. Something like “Dear [recruiter’s name]” or “Hi [recruiter’s name]” are the safest options in most cases. Ultimately, though, it’s good to try and get a sense of the tone they tend to use first and reciprocate that. Then, your task will be to maintain this tone throughout the email.
Consider reviewing your email side-by-side with one from the recruiter to ensure that they are in the same tone. Some details to look for will include the usage of slang, exclamation points, and emojis, if applicable.
Proofread your email multiple times after it’s complete. Picture yourself saying it aloud to the hiring manager. The majority of it should still feel appropriate in that setting, as you want it to be conversational but not in the same way it would be if you were talking to a friend.
Get Their Attention
Once the tone has been set, you need to give the hiring manager a reason to keep reading. More often than not, potential employers will receive dozens of job applications. They’re not looking for an average person to fill the position. They’re looking for someone that stands out and want someone that will go above and beyond in their contribution to the company. They want someone who has a lot to offer.
Within the first few lines of your email, there are three questions you need to answer:
- Why do you want this job?
- What sets you apart from the other applicants?
- How much are you willing and able to offer the company?
By providing this information at the beginning of the email, you compel them to keep reading and give them an opportunity of forming an impression of you that may sway the way they perceive you throughout the rest of the email. Attach a cover letter and resume to the email so they can get more information if they want to.
Proofread and Edit
No matter what kind of position you’re applying for, you should never send in the first draft of your email. Make sure it’s brief. It should take no more than 2 minutes to read. After you’re done typing it up, go through and take out any filler words. Common filler words in an application email include: that, very, like, really, and just. There are some cases where these words are needed, however, they rarely occur in application emails.
Use proofreading software to check your grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. Often a small error will slip through unnoticed if you proofread yourself. Make sure you spell the company and the application manager’s name correctly, also.
Writing a Follow-Up Email
A well-written job application gives you a headstart against other potential employees, and a follow-up email after the interview can enhance that. It shows initiative and reiterates to them you are willing to put in extra effort when required.
In terms of tone, following up on a job application should be very similar to the application email itself. You want it to be professional, but you don’t want it to seem informal. You want to show respect without being robotic.
It’s a standard courtesy to start out a follow-up email by thanking the potential employer for taking the time to conduct the interview and considering you as a future employee. Make sure to briefly mention the position you applied for once again. Note your ambitions and what appeals to you about the company and the position applied for. End by providing your contact information and be available to respond to them in the future.
Application Email Example
Subject line: Job Application for [position title] at [company name]
Dear [Mr/Ms/Mrs etc.] [hiring manager’s name],
My name is [your name] and I recently came across your job listing for [position title] and was intrigued. I’m interested in [industry/field you’d be working in] and hoped to apply. I have [number of years] of experience in this field and if you take a look at the [resume and/or cover letter] I’ve attached, you’ll see [mention your qualifications].
If you’re interested in an interview or would like additional information, feel free to contact me at [contact information].
Follow-Up Email Example
Dear [Mr/Ms/Mrs etc.] [hiring manager’s name],
Thank you for taking the time to conduct an interview with me. I sincerely appreciate being considered for the [position title] role at [company name]. It was a pleasure speaking with you and learning more about this opportunity.
I am excited at the prospect of filling this position, especially [mention why the position interests you]. After our conversation, I feel that this job would be the perfect fit for me. If you are interested in what I have to offer at [company name], please feel free to contact me.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks again for your time, [your name].