Email Etiquette: How To Correspond With A Potential Employer


As you embark on your job search, it can be difficult to tread the line between professional and genuine, and there are certain rules of etiquette that should be followed.

What kind of salutation should you use? At what point in a professional relationship can you relax your prose? All this can be a challenge when you’re corresponding with employers during your job hunt. If you’re nervous about making a mistake, don’t worry – we have some great tips to keep in mind!

Email addresses: Change is a good thing

Remember the email account you created when you were 13 and obsessed with cats? Unfortunately, it’s time to put it to rest. Not only is ‘’ unprofessional, it may land your application in the “do not contact” pile. Recruiters are looking for people who present themselves as mature and capable, so create an account that simply incorporates your name or initials and stick with it.

Subject line: Summarize the email

Much like a first impression, the subject line in an email is crucial and often determines whether or not the recipient will bother opening it. Don’t drive the reader away with a subject line that is wordy and unclear. Take your time to create one that offers insight into the email in a concise manner. Submitting an application? Include the role you’re applying for in the subject line – this is especially helpful for recruiters who may be receiving emails for multiple positions.

Salutations: Greet properly

When sending emails to potential employers, opening with ‘Dear’ or ‘Hello’ will work in most situations. If you know the name of the person your email is being sent to, include it. If you are unsure of the recipient’s name altogether, keep it simple with ‘Hello’ or ‘Good morning/Afternoon’.

Punctuation: Keep it minimal

As you begin applying for jobs, it can be easy to get carried away with punctuation! When you’re emailing a potential employer, it’s natural to want to sound motivated and excited! However, overusing exclamation marks in a job-related email can come off as unprofessional!!! (Do you see what we mean?)

Be concise: Get to the point

Emails get skipped over fairly quickly, especially by recruiters who can receive hundreds of them a day. This means it’s important to keep emails brief but professional. Don’t go off topic or include extraneous details. Instead, make your point in short, active sentences. For example, “I am interested in X position” or “I was hoping you could offer some insight on Y”.

Keep these simple tips in mind for email correspondence and start your job search off on the right track. Good luck!

How do you make a great first impression over email? Tell us in the comments!