By Lilian Wamaitha
When you are looking for a job you are always on high alert for every mistake that you might make in the process. You run your CV by a friend, carefully craft your cover letter, scrutinize each and every detail that you put in your application and spend hours preparing for an interview.
But have you ever stopped to think that you can make it all the way to the final interview but then lose the job offer to something as small as an email?
Ms. Muthoni Ndegwa, a recruitment manager at Corporate Staffing Services advices that as a job seeker you should understand that every interaction you have with a potential employer whether through phone or email tells a lot about you.
If you want to make sure that you are always presenting yourself professionally to future employers, you need to avoid these common email mistakes.
1. Having misleading email subjects
The way you communicate to any employer should express respect and it starts with you being honest and accurate in your emails. Use the email subject to portray what is in the email body and not something misleading just to get the attention of someone.
“Even when sending your application or following up, have a clear email subject that will make me as the recruiter want to read your email,” says Ms. Ndegwa.
2. Using the wrong name or title
Are you the kind of person who sends an email to the potential employer and addresses it as “To whom it may concern?”
What this shows is a lack of initiative because in the age of the internet, more often than not such information is available online.
Furthermore, some out of touch salutations only serve as warnings to recruiters that you might not fit into the culture.
“Some women for instance don’t just like being addressed as Ms. or Mrs. in an email and doing this is disrespectful,” she says.
3. Not getting to the point
One of the dangers of communicating with potential employers via email is that you have a lot of time to linger on a draft until you make it into something they no longer want to read. Just skip the long email and try to keep it at 3-5 sentences or less.
“Going on and on in emails when I didn’t ask for that shows that you assume that I have nothing better to do than listen to you go on about yourself. Instead, think about the most important thing you need to convey and be clear and concise about it.”
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4. Taking too long to respond
Let’s say you have sent your application and the hiring manager is considering you for the position. They send you an email confirming that they are interested in you. However, you take a week to respond.
According to Ms Ndegwa, nothing hurts your chances of getting an interview than taking too long to respond to an email.
“If I don’t hear from you, be assured that most likely I will move on to another candidate,”
If you apply for a job, always ensure that you check your email on a daily basis.
5. Attaching every document you have
I have seen this in job seekers applying for specific positions. Unless you are called to do so, you don’t have to attach all your certificates, ID, driving license just because you want to be considered for an interview.
A well written professional CV and cover letter will simply do the job unless you have been asked specifically to attach other documents.
Most likely, you will be asked to bring along additional documents during the interview so keep it simple in the application stage.
6. Being too aggressive when following up
I understand that the job market is very competitive and that you have to fight for whatever chance you get.
However, it’s one thing to express your interest in a job and another one to be just creepy. When you are too aggressive in following up and by this I mean emailing the employer several times, will only hurt your chances of getting the job.
You’re better off directing some of that energy in following directions for applying for a job and carefully reading all of the instructions you receive throughout the interview process and nothing more.
Landing your dream job is as easy and getting it right in your application all the way to the emails you are sending. Some of these mistakes are what we too often make but now you know better.
The writer is a Communication Officer at Career Point Kenya? Do you have any question (s) regarding this topic? Email me today at firstname.lastname@example.org.