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E-mail in your job search
Date:2007/09/24

WHAT'S OKAY TO SEND TO EMPLOYERS VIA E-MAIL:
  YOUR FIRST CONTACT TO AN EMPLOYER?
  • For a first contact, e-mail employers only when an employer specifically invites or instructs you to do so — with instructions on the employer's web site, a job ad, a verbal conversation, other reliable advice, etc.
Otherwise, you are safer sending a resume and cover letter via hard copy.
   
  RESPONDING TO EMPLOYERS:
  • If an employer e-mails you, you can probably respond via e-mail. The key is to READ the e-mail sent by the employer and follow instructions.
  • Be very careful about noting TO WHOM and HOW you should respond. Morgan McKenzie of XYZ Inc., might send the e-mail, but instruct you to MAIL your resume and a cover to Chris Corrigan of XYZ.
  • E-mails that have been forwarded to you (or to many) and/or have gone through lots of forwarding may take more time for you to interpret. Read the details so you do the right thing. It won't help you to shoot off a response to someone who just happened to forward the e-mail but isn't the actual employer.
     
  THANK YOU NOTES AFTER INTERVIEWS?
  • This question comes up a lot with students. An e-mail thank-you isn't wrong. Employers will appreciate that you did at least send thanks. If you know that the person who interviewed you is travelling a lot, s/he may see your e-mail before getting back to the office to see hard copy mail. If the hiring decision will happen very quickly following the interview, an e-mail might be seen sooner than hard copy. Hard copy is still nice, and can follow up an e-mail.
  • For more see After your interviews / follow up / thank-you letters
     
  JOB NEGOTIATIONS? IMPORTANT Qs ABOUT OFFER TERMS?
  • Negotiations are better conducted verbally than in writing. If you don't understand the benefits package information provided with a job offer and have questions, a verbal conversation might be best. However, if speed is of the essence and you are only reaching voice mail by phone, you could alert the employer via e-mail that you have some questions and are hoping to speak directly. Suggest times when you might be available to speak.
     
  TAKE YOUR CUES FROM EACH EMPLOYER:
  • If an employer has been communicating with you, take your cues from the employer. If s/he clearly prefers the phone and there's no problem reaching each other, use the phone. If s/he uses e-mail, follow suit.
     
  CONSIDER WHEN YOU NEED A WRITTEN RECORD:
  • If you do something important verbally — like agree upon an interview date and time, or accept a job offer — it's important to follow up in writing, and an e-mail can serve that purpose. Usually an employer will confirm an interview time in writing, and an employer should always follow up a verbal employment offer with a written offer. But if the employer doesn't, you can. Example: "Thank you so much for the offer of an interview at your McLean, Virginia, office. I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, March 7 at 8:00 a.m." Putting information in writing creates a record and can (if worded clearly) protect everyone from confusion and misunderstanding.
 
 
 
 

 
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