Emailing back and forth with potential employers in the hiring process is a lot like texting someone to set up a first date — it’s exciting, but you’re also nervous about making a great impression.
While there isn’t a set formula to either, here are a few tips on emailing to your potential future boss that will help you put your best foot forward!
Keep it short
People don’t have time to read long emails. Stay to-the-point and leave out unnecessary fluff. The less you say, the clearer your message and the less room there is for mistakes.
Keep it professional, and personable
The person on the other end of the email is your potential boss. Use complete sentences, avoid slang, and keep your personal life out of the picture.
Remember that email is just another form of communication. Acknowledge that you’re writing to a human being — if you want to start an email off on a friendly note, go ahead! Starting things off on warmly takes the edge off and helps the person on the other end see you as a real person too.
Be clear about dates and times if you’re scheduling an interview
If you’re laying out dates and times for an interview, be clear about what time and when you’re meeting.
If needed, use bullet points or bold type to outline exactly what your plans are. The easier your email is to read, the less chance there is for confusion.
Ask questions if you aren’t sure about something
If something’s unclear, don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’re better off asking a clarifying question than making an assumption. No hiring manager will ever look down on you for making sure you have your facts straight.
Acknowledge the parts of the email you do understand, save the questions for the second half of the email, and you’ll be all set.
Check everything twice before hitting “Send”
If you are as neurotic as I am, I’m sure you do this already. Double check what you’ve written and make sure there aren’t any grammar mistakes or typos before you hit “send”.
While an employer won’t hold it against you for making a tiny typo, you will feel better knowing that you’ve sent off a typo-free email.
If a potential employer follows up with you, reply ASAP! Responding in a timely manner speaks to your attention to detail and your communication skills. It also shows that you’re respectful of the hiring manager’s time and that you’re serious about the job.
A template to start you off!
While your responses will change depending on context , here are two templates for two situations that inevitably come up in the interview process:
- Scheduling an interview
- Asking questions to clarify details you aren’t sure about
Scheduling an interview
Hi [HIRING MANAGER’S NAME],
Thanks so much for following up! I’m free to come for an in-person interview at the following times next week:
3/26 - 3/28: 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
3/30: 2:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Please let me know what works best for you. Looking forward to meeting you soon!
Hi [HIRING MANAGER’S NAME],
Thanks so much for these details. I have a few questions I want to clarify before the interview on Wednesday (3/27):
You mentioned in your last email that the interview and demo lesson would be from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM; what time will the demo lesson be and how long should I plan it for?
Will there be [INSERT RESOURCES] available for the demo lesson? If not, I can bring my own materials.
Looking forward to hearing from you and to meeting you in person soon!
Do you have any tips on writing a great email to a potential employer? Have suggestions on how to stress less about the job search process? We’d love to hear from you — email us any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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