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Job Search Email Tips: The Dangers of Skimming and Pressing Send

Job search tips - dangers of skimming and pressing send

Are you a skimmer? Are you one of those individuals that quickly skims emails? Do you respond immediately, just so you can hit file or delete without thinking about your response? I get some pretty bizarre responses to basic requests which ultimately has helped me identify some email job search tips that can help candidates improve their chances of being hired.


When you are seeking a job, your responses to emails are being evaluated regardless of who is receiving the message. Job seekers often feel recruiters are only interested in closing the deal, which is very far from the truth. Personally, I have a College Diploma in Business Communications and a BA in History. I spent many hours reading boring text books and writing essays for the privilege of saying that.

When my clients want a candidate with “excellent communication skills” I am constantly evaluating the content of the emails I am sent from applicants. That’s part of my job; ongoing assessment. Other skills that recruiters look for in job seeker’s emails include attention to detail and resourcefulness.


It can be tempting to use the same email template when searching for a job. Just swap out the name of the position and the company and you should be ok, right? Wrong. Recruiters and HR Managers can quickly identify these types of emails and rule you out as a candidate. They pick up on this when the message doesn’t speak to the specifics of the job posting. Be sure to directly address the qualities the employer is looking for and the tasks the employee will be responsible for.


Blatant spelling mistakes will probably get identified or corrected automatically, but just because there are no red underlined words in your email, doesn’t mean it’s ready to send. For example, I sent off an invite for an interview to a candidate, and they immediately replied back and asked what industry the client was in. The name of the company was clearly indicated in the email I had sent, along with the address and contact name for the interview. It would have taken literally seconds to Google the company name!

Before pressing send, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is my message clear? Or does it include vague terms like “they”?
  • Are there grammar errors? Use a tool like Hemingway to analyze your email for readability
  • Are there questions that you could find the answer to yourself? Show the recipient your resourcefulness by doing your own research

Read carefully, respond after thinking, and proofread before you press send.

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BCC:…The Way to Go!

This is a protocol that is basic, but prudent.  If you are sending your resume out en masse, don’t just cc anyone and everyone you can find on the internet with your resume and press send.  Do I want to be included with 20 other agencies on an email?  No I do not!  It doesn’t make me rush to contact the individual, in fact, just the opposite.  The BCC tool is a beautiful thing.  You can put as many emails as you like and no one can see any of the other addresses.  I actually had one of the “Big 5” Banks respond to an RFP in a mass email once.  I could see all the other agencies that had RFP’d in one shot!  Totally inappropriate!  From then on I’ve had a real “thing” about it.  How to wrap it up in two words or less:   “good manners”.

Don’t Kill The Messenger…

When you work with a Professional Recruiter be cognizant that we DO NOT make the final decision.  It is our job to screen, interview, make appropriate introductions, provide consulting services, and perform due diligence. We do not, and cannot, choose an EA or PA for a President or CEO. This would be like an arranged marriage; really a gamble whether it will work out. The relationship between an Executive and his EA is a very personal one. If there is not trust there, there will definitely not be a successful business partnership. So please keep in mind that if you are not chosen as a successful candidate don’t kill the messenger.  We are just a guide to the process.  If you send us an angry response that blames us or paints us in a bad light chances are we won’t present you for other roles as they come available.