Sending out your CV can be a daunting and nerve-wracking experience. You are not sure whether the person reading it will be impressed or if you will even get a reply from them about your application. However scary this may feel, the experience will feel even worse if you make a mistake when sending the email containing your cover letter and CV.   Having effective communication skills will help immensely in getting your message across to potential employers, but there are still certain mistakes that you need to avoid when sending out application emails. Read on below for advice to help you write the perfect application email.

Writing incorrect or misleading subject lines

The way that you communicate should express respect, which means that your application email should start with being accurate and honest. Your email subject lines should convey exactly what you mean to say, rather than being vague or misleading. You will need to read the job advertisements clearly to see if they state any specific email subject lines to be used, such as a “Job Reference Number ” or “Job Title”. Potential employers will not appreciate subject lines that read as ‘click bait’, nor will they open emails that have incorrect subject lines. If there is no suggestion as to what to use in the subject line, say something along the lines of ‘Application for (Job Title)’. Be sure that all spelling is correct before sending the email.

Spelling names incorrectly

This is of vital importance, as it will show that you have effective communication skills as well as good reading comprehension skills. You must spell the name of the person you are sending the email to correctly or you run the risk of seeming unprofessional and as though you did not read the advertisement.   You should also ensure that you are addressing your email to the right person. Mr Smith in accounting does not want to receive your job application that was meant for Mr Jones in the creative department. Do a full spell-check before you send the email off and ensure that you check all the words and names that spell-checker might have missed out. Sending an email that is addressed to the wrong person or spelling someone’s name incorrectly could impact your chances of employment.

Forgetting to attach your CV to the email

The end of your email will likely read along the lines of, “Please find attached my CV and cover letter”... and you have forgotten to attach your CV. Your potential employer will spend time looking for these files but will not find them, which is annoying and unprofessional. It will ruin your chances of making a good first impression as well.   Before you send your email off, make sure that your CV and cover letter are attached, as this will save you from embarrassment later. Make sure you have saved your CV as a PDF file, as these are easier to read for many people, but have a Word document as backup in case you receive an email asking for this instead. Be sure that your CV is up-to-date before attaching it, as outdated information is detrimental to your application.

Right application, wrong company

You are likely sending out multiple applications while looking for work, which can lead to confusion when sending emails to potential employers. You will need to double and triple check your email subject line, who it is addressed to and if you have attached the right CV and cover letter to your email.   Every CV should be tailored to the job you are applying to but should not be vastly different as to be confusing. Be sure that your cover letter is unique for every position, as you will need this to ‘sell’ you to your potential employer and that you do not attach this to the wrong email. It is good practice to have a folder of CVs stored on your computer denoting which ones are to be sent out to which job postings.

Not using the correct greeting

The first few lines of your email are what make an impression on your potential employer, so you will need to ensure that you greet them correctly when sending an email. Your greeting should not be too formal but neither should it be too casual.   Do not start your emails with ‘Hi’, ‘Hey’, ‘Hello’, or ‘Howzit’. You should use ‘Dear (employer’s name) or say ‘Good day (employer’s name)’. When you are ending off your email, the same practice should be followed. Avoid using casual greetings such as ‘Bye’, ‘Goodbye’, ‘Bye bye’ or ‘Thanks’. Rather use phrases such as ‘Kind Regards’, ‘Warm Regards’ to end off your emails. It is proper business communication etiquette to remain professional even when saying goodbye in emails.

Keep it simple and straightforward

Effective communication skills can make or break your application’s email success, so be sure to check and double check before pressing send. Be sure that the subject line is correct and is not misleading, and remember to spell your potential employer’s name correctly. Always ensure that your CV and cover letter are attached and that the right application is sent to the right company. If you follow all of these tips, you will soon be sending off the perfect emails to help brighten your future.  

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