Monday, July 23, 2012

No Substitute for Résumé

Okay, here’s one for you. In my last blog I discussed proper email etiquette. Let’s take that another step. I receive a very nice email from a job seeker. The email is professional and well written. They used proper spelling, grammar & punctuation. They did a nice job outlining the reason for them contacting me. So the message was clear, understood and well received. Perfect, right? Typically when I receive such a message the sender also includes their resume. So as usual I read the message and then open the attachment. To my surprise is a recipe for chocolate chip cookies!

Then there are the emails I receive, again the email text is well done, however they attach a resume and cover letter(separate attachments). The cover letter is addressed to a different company and different contact than me. Now for me these aren’t huge problems. However for a potential employer receiving these boo boos it could easily eliminate the job seeker from being considered.

So the message here is quite simple. First, keep your recipes in a separate folder. Second, proof your emails for accuracy in every way before sending them.

To illustrate my point even further take a look at this interesting mistake made by this job seeker…

No Substitute for Résumé, The Wall Street Journal

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Email Etiquette

I recall a few years ago composing an email and sending it off without much thought. The sender unfortunately misinterpreted the message I wanted to convey, and what should have been a pleasant exchange went horribly wrong. I learned a lot from that experience. You see, I get hit once with a rolled up newspaper and that’s all it takes for me to learn a lesson for life. I must have been a very easy child to raise. Not that my parents used rolled up newspaper on me.

From that day on I read and re-read every email I send out regardless of the message. And I will now sit on emails that could be more prone to be misinterpreted due to the subject to be certain I take a step back. Sometimes I will have another person in my office review to get another eye on it as well.

Now there are times, naturally, where no matter how careful you try to be your message will just not be interpreted correctly. Or the person literally reads something there, that simply isn’t there. But you can reduce the risk of email damage by composing your messages with great care. In addition, it never fails to amaze me at the emails that go out with improper spelling, grammar or punctuation. Especially these days with spell check. And I’d recommend not over using punctuation that creates emotion such as the exclamation mark. And the silly little cute icons are best left for personal email. So no smiley faces doing jumping jacks in your business messages.

In some instances text messages are even being used more for business interactions related to job opportunities. While texting has an entire different language, still the same basic principles apply to texting a business contact. I just got myself in the dog house with my wife two nights ago. I sent her a text that I thought was clear and funny. She didn’t read it the same way and I got in hot water.

Here is an article from Business Insider that goes into more detail regarding emails. Good information. So, what are some of your email horror stories?

E-Mail 101: 8 Etiquette Rules for Job Seekers