Recently, I posted about an Internship program with MyJobMag. The internship is a 3 months opportunity for a young person to join our workforce to learn and also assist with our social media marketing and ICT team.
Few days later, I received numerous mails from different folks. The number of applications we have received so far is alarming. What is more daunting is the fact that while a few applications are excellent (making our decision difficult), a majority of the applications are not close to a 50% pass mark, or so to write.
When you email a CV to another individual, you are often connecting to that person for the first time. First impressions count. It is important to understand that, even via email, you are sending a message about who you are as a candidate. This is why I am writing this tip to elaborate more on why your email presentation matters.
From a glance at the email, I could tell whether an applicant was just randomly sending CVs across to catch some luck or not and I could quickly make a decision not to go further reviewing. However, for the purpose of ensuring that everyone gets an equal chance, I took the time and pain to go through all the applications. And I am wondering if the top executive at a big private or public firm would even consider this.
Here are the top 7 tips and strategies to adopt to help you make that email presentation more appealing and compelling. It does matter.
1. Ensure you are sending your CV/resume in a format that can be opened by the receiver. Most companies use MS Word. This is probably the most commonly acceptable format. Avoid sending your documents in formats that cannot be easily opened and read. You may not get the chance to resend your application especially if the employer has received many CVs/resumes from candidates that are interested.
2. Give your CVs/Resume appropriate names. Not only does this make you appear organised and coordinated, it also makes it easier for the reviewer to identify what who is the candidate and while searching. The right thing to do is to avoid names like mycv2012.doc or mylatestcv.doc; they are not helpful for searching purposes. Rather than use those, consider using your full name or last name and initials; example, OgunyemiPaul.doc or OgunyemiPaulCV.doc.
3. Begin your email message (body) with a salutation. Always start every email you send, whether to a friend or to a company with a salutation. For job applications, it is suitable to begin with ‘Dear Ma’, Dear Sir’ or ‘To Whom It May Concern’. In a situation where the gender of the receiver is not known, begin with ‘Dear Sir/Madam’. Additionally, remember to be end your message with ‘Sincerely’ or ‘Regards’ and so on.
4. Consider writing your cover letter in the body of the email and attach a copy of your CV. This eliminates the need to click on two attachments (on the receiving end).
5. Ensure your email and your CV has your correct contact information. This is important as reviewers or employers could contact you at any time for any details or verification. Make sure the address on your CV is not just your permanent address but current your residential address.
6. Check your Spelling and grammar. This can set you apart in many ways. It goes to show that you are meticulous, that is, thorough and you can pay attention to detail. You don’t just write it in your CV as part of your skills; you can make a huge difference by demonstrating it in your email body. Understand this and make sure that your message is firm, well-written and easy to read.
7. Add an email signature. You can distinguish between a formal and informal message or serious and casual message by the just the presence or absence of an appropriate signature. It is important to add an email signature line to every mail you send. This helps the receiver identify who you are and what you do. It could be something as simple as this:
Social Media Enthusiast and Writer
With these in place, you are just one step closer to getting that job interview or appointment.
If you have any suggestions, questions or general comments, kindly use the comment space below.
Feel free to add your own top tips.