The societal and cultural pressures of today’s shifting environments sometimes cause instability even to the most dedicated workers around us. This means that regardless of your skills and work ethics, you will be required, sooner rather than later and probably often enough, to search for a new job.

Therefore, self-presentation skills like polishing your resume and knowing how to sell yourself are just as important as your work skills per se. Indeed, we don’t really like this phrasing either – selling yourself – but the idea that we should be able to make others see why we are a valuable worker does ring true.

To help you on your way to better application emails, we’ve put together this brief guide. The source for all tips and advice presented here is JobApplicationWorld. When you are looking for a guide to applying for a specific job or company, you can head over to their portal to read more targeted advice.

What Is the Purpose of a Job Application Email?

You may have noticed that nowadays most companies have a dedicated job application portal, where you simply upload your resume and other significant data, answer a few questions and click Apply. Considering this rather automated means of applying to a job, what is then the purpose of a job application email? Do people still send this kind of email anymore?

The answer is that the job application email remains a strong component of every job application, even in perhaps altered forms.

First of all, there are still companies which don’t use a portal for automated applications. For them, sending a job application email is still mandatory.

Second of all, some portals will also ask you to upload a motivation letter or a job application statement. This is the job application email re-hashed. This is where you introduce yourself, where you explain your motivation or weave the separate facts from your resume into a story, your story.

Even where this is optional, you shouldn’t miss out on this opportunity to introduce yourself this way. Therefore, a job application email or cover letter or whatever name your potential employer prefers is always a good idea.

What Makes a Good Job Application Email?

Here are just a few characteristics that make a job application email objectively good.

#1. It’s short and to the point: 3-4 paragraphs will do.

#2. It manages to paint an accurate picture on your job experience and education background.

#3. It conveys why you think you would do a good job if hired, what makes you stand out, without being boastful.

#4. It also delivers a statement on your personal motivation, but all the while remaining professional.

#5. Its tone is warm and positive, but not too casual or excessively friendly.

#6. It also demonstrates a bit of knowledge about the company’s activity and where your job could fit in.

Quick Email Checklist

After you’ve written a few paragraphs that manage to comprise the points we presented above, you should also go through this quick checklist. This is to make sure you won’t allow grammar or style mistakes to escape your attention.

Here is the stuff you should double-over on, in a nutshell:

  • Are you using a professional email address, comprised of your name and last name?
  • Are you, at the same time, using a personal email, not one created by the company you are currently working in?
  • Are you using a simple to read, classic font?
  • Are you conveying your purpose for writing the email early on? You should state the position you are applying for and your intention as early in the email as possible.
  • Is the email text easy enough to follow and comprehend? If not, try for shorter sentences and paragraphs.
  • Is all the spelling and grammar neat and correctly used? Make sure you re-read the email at least a couple of times and edit it for better phrasing.

How to Go the Extra Mile with Your Job Application Email

If you manage to follow the tips and tricks above, your job application email is already among the best the recruiters will probably receive. But if you really want to do something special and get noticed right away, try going the extra mile. You will be able to tell what this extra mile is for each individual case, but here are some starting points:

  • Address your job application email to a specific person whenever possible.
  • Try attaching a sample of your previous work or some form of portfolio exhibit, even if you don’t have a full portfolio file to show. Just your resume is the bare requirement, extra proof of skill is always a nice surprise!
  • If you are applying for some kind of creative job, then feel free to go off the beaten path just a little.
  • If you feel confident in your ideas and can also back them up with data and mini-study, you could also come up with a proposal of how you would like to improve the performance of the company or department you are applying to. You must be very careful not to criticize or sound arrogant, though, so tread lightly on this one.
  • Include a nice email signature that recounts your contact details and LinkedIn account (if you have one).
  • Before sending your job application email to its intended recipient, send it to yourself first to see if the format will hold and if everything looks good once received.

If all looks well, feel free to go ahead and send your job application email. Fingers crossed!

Scott Lawson is an HR manager devoted to his career. During his 5 year work span Scott developed a taste for writing and helping others. This materialized into a website, JobApplicationWorld, that aims to help others tackle the hiring process.

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