The Standard Etiquettes for Job Search via Email


If you are a job seeker, you may want to explore the option of using emails to achieve your goal. There are reasons why this option will be of benefit to you. One obvious advantage of seeking for jobs via email is that you get to do a wide search without having to move from one office to the other. You can contact so many people at a little cost and even land your dream job without any physical stress. Besides, this method of job searching is increasing in popularity. So, you need to arm yourself with the standard etiquettes for job search via email.

You can decide to make inquiry regarding job openings or send an email that serves as a cover letter with your curriculum vitae attached to it. You may also want to ask people on your contact list to help you out with job search. When you eventually get an interview, remember you will also need to send a thank you email.

Standard Etiquettes for Job Search via Email

Be Professional in Your Communication

When doing a job application or job search via email, it is vital to keep your communication professional. It is similar to writing formal letters. The recipients of your emails expect this from you since your interaction with them is an official one.

Have a Professional Email Address

Your email address should be a professional one. Typically: [email protected], or [email protected]. Note that “your profession” in the first example could be “teacher”, “engineer” etc. This makes you look professional in your job search via email. You can purchase such email addresses from Gmail (or free from, if you can find an option that suits you there).

You may also use your professional website email address, for example, if your website is, your email may be [email protected]. See Tips for Choosing the Best Domain Name and Email Address for more details.

If you cannot afford a paid email address or have a domain name-based email address, you can settle for the free providers. Free email providers like Gmail and Yahoo can do the job. In the format shown earlier, that is, [email protected], the “freeemailprovider” represents the free providers like Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc. For example, we can have [email protected] or [email protected].

Finally, endeavor to have one email specifically for the purpose of job searching to make it easy to sort emails for that purpose.

Send Your Email to an Individual

Your job search email (that is, email cover letter with curriculum vitae attached) should be sent to a contact person. This is better than sending it to a general email. The contact person, for example, the human resources manager, is likely to peruse your email if it is sent to him or her.  It is also a good idea to send a copy of the email to yourself to monitor who (and where) you have sent your emails to. It will also help you to monitor what you have applied for.

Use Appropriate Subject Lines

The subject line of your job search email is very important. It should immediately tell the recipient what your intention is. Therefore, it is like taking a clear shot at a target that may be moved if you miss it the first time. If the subject line is absent or does not make sense to the recipient, your email may never get opened. It may end up in the trash.

Also, note that without a subject line your email may end up in the spam folder. You should bear in mind that the person you are communicating with may be busy and may have tons of emails to peruse in a day. Therefore, any email that does not have a clear subject line or no subject line will likely be overlooked or deleted as stated earlier. The standard way of writing an appropriate subject line for job application emails is:

Position/Your Name

For example, Operations Manager/Jacob Smart

Use an Appropriate Font

There is no need to decorate your email with elaborate, fanciful or colorful fonts. Your font style should be simple and clear to the reader.  Common fonts like Arial or Times New Roman will do. Your font size should not be smaller than 10 points or larger than 12 points. A clear font makes reading your email an easy task for the recipient. For someone that has a lot to handle, an email that is difficult to read may end up in the trash or simply neglected.

It is a Business Letter

Email cover letters are business letters. They are formal and professional. Therefore your writing style should fully reflect this. Avoid using slang, abbreviations or smileys. Sentences should be full; paragraphs should be well arranged as well. Like formal business letters or emails, the email should begin with a salutation; have a main body detailing your skill sets and how you are fit for the job (see Guidelines on How to Apply for Jobs via Email); and end the email appropriately and with your signature. This is basic when doing job search via email.

Brevity is Vital

Ensure your email is short and to the point. Long emails are usually overlooked. After putting so much effort into preparing your curriculum vitae and attaching it to your email cover letter, there is no need to let all those to become waste. You may have so much to say, summarize it. You may want to show all your achievements and skill sets, that is what your curriculum vitae is meant to do. Therefore, as standard etiquette for job search via email, keep the email cover letter concise.

Typographical and Grammatical Errors

Read and reread your email. Proofreading cannot be over-emphasized. A typographical and grammatical error-free email will likely impress your potential employer. It shows your attention to details and a sense of seriousness.

Final Words

Job search via email requires due diligence. It is important to heed every instruction from the job application details. Provide the relevant information being requested and format your email as instructed. Early in your email, the purpose of which you are writing should be made clear to the recipient. Remain hopeful even if you do not get a job interview early, do not give up.

See Guidelines on How to Apply for Jobs via Email for samples on email cover letter.

Scroll to Top