How to Get Employers to Respond to Your Emails

Laptop Email

                                                      Image courtesy of Thinkstock

How to write compelling emails isn’t taught in school, but it’s an incredibly important skill for everyone to learn and hone throughout their career. When you’re on the job hunt you might send dozens of emails each week to apply for jobs, ask for informational meetings, and follow up with people.

So just how do you write emails that actually get replied to? Follow the tips below to increase your open rate.

Write Subject Lines that Provoke Curiosity or Utility

You can write the most poetic email that ever existed, but if the person doesn’t open it, it doesn’t matter, does it? People are more likely to open an email if it seems interesting to them or it’s providing basic, factual information. If you’re lucky enough to have a referral to a potential job or information meeting, be sure to include that in the subject line as well.

Examples:

“Quick comment on how you run your events”

“Follow up on Job Application for Jr. Graphic Designer”

“Referred by Jason S. – Time for a quick coffee meeting with an aspiring Community Manager?”

Begin with The Goal in Mind

Before you send an email, think about what you want the result to be, and make sure everything you write helps you in the goal. Put yourself in your readers shoes. Hiring managers and recruiters and likely getting upwards of 150 emails a day. Be the person who makes their life easier by being extremely clear and concise about what you’re sending and how you’d like them to respond. Identify one goal, and go with that. Don’t put multiple requests in one email. Make it as easy as possible for them to give you what you want and respond.

Write Your Emails the Way You’d Speak to Someone

People respond to emails that sound like they are from humans. Think about how you’d speak to someone you just met at a networking event and try to maintain that normal tone. Visit the company’s career or about page to get an idea of the tone you should use in your email.

Be Sure to Follow Up

No response doesn’t always mean no. People are busy. Many people actually appreciate follow up. Always try to add value in your follow up. Add a link to a different place to see your portfolio or resume, a new blog post you’ve written, or a blog post you think they’d find interesting. Keep in mind if you’re job hunting the right way, you should be applying to roles where you have something to offer, so write your follow up emails with confidence, not apologetically. On average, if you don’t hear back after two follow up emails, it’s likely time to let go. Use tools like Rapportive, Streak, Boomerang, and Google Calendar to manage your follow up reminders.

Use Your Signature Real Estate Wisely

An earlier tip spoke about focusing on one goal for your emails. You might not want to waste that goal on getting them to click on your website, LinkedIn, etc. Use your email signature to share links to where people can learn more about you and your work.

Example:

Best,
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Emily Miethner | LinkedIn // Twitter
Founder & CEO // FindSpark
555.555.5555

Send Emails between 8am – 10am and 3pm – 4pm Mondays through Thursdays.

That’s it. It’s simple — you’re more likely to get a response at those times.

Tips brought to you by a class presented by , a Digital Content Consultant & Email Evangelist.

What sort of email strategies have gotten you results? What do you struggle with? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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2 comment on “How to Get Employers to Respond to Your Emails

  1. These are great tips! Regarding writing tone, though, I once applied for a job at a company that used a very casual tone of writing and had difficulties writing a cover letter to match. Short of putting an exclamation point after every other statement, do you have any advice for that kind of situation?

    • Hi Val,

      That’s a great question. I think it’s important to keep the company’s tone in mind, but you don’t have to completely mimic it. If you’re worried, it might be best to error on the side of professionalism.

      I also had a really smart boss (he was an emmy-award winning copywriter) who is very anti-exclamation points. He taught me that it’s ok to use them from time to time, but it’s usually better to demonstrate enthusiasm with your words.

      Hope that helps! (<— o.O )

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