Email Etiquette

Example of what NOT to do:

Subject:                 My perfect job!
Attached:              resume.doc; cover letter.doc; transcript.doc; future-goals.doc; 25-page essay.doc; family-photos.jpg

It’s important to consider the message you convey to an employer when communicating through email.  A first impression is being formed based on the email you write, so you want to make sure you are being received as professional!


Email Etiquette Tips:

  • If attaching a resume and cover letter, be brief in your message, but also make sure to include necessary details.
  • If only attaching your resume, your email message can become your cover letter.  In this case, it’s appropriate to provide additional information regarding your experiences and how they relate to the position.\
  • Use proper grammar and spelling—avoid using text shorthand (i.e., plz, thanx).
  • Be polite—please and thank you are always appreciated!
  • Address individual as Mr., Mrs., or Dr.  In the example above. Begin the message with “Dear Mr. Hodge:”
  • Use a positive tone—you’ll come across as respectful, friendly, and approachable.
  • Don’t use emoticons (i.e., smiley faces)—you want to appear professional.
  • Don’t use all uppercase letters—appears as though you are screaming.
  • Review your email address.  What does it say about you?  Make it professional—avoid addresses like
  • Don’t get too “attached.”  Limit email attachments and ask permission to send (if not stated).
  • Be careful when writing your subject line. Be aware of word choices, as some filters might consider your email to be ‘spam’ and will send your message to junk mail.
  • If you include a signature line with your email, make it professional.  Remove any automatic signatures by Yahoo, etc.
  • Never cc your mom (or any other relatives or friends) when communicating with employers!


Example of what TO do:

Subject:                John Smith - Application for position #45689
Attached:             JSmith_CoverLetter.doc; JSmith_Resume.doc
Dear Mr. Hodge:
Per our conversation on April 10 regarding the Marketing position (req. #45689) with Miller and Miller Consulting, I am attaching my cover letter and resume for your review.  As we discussed, I believe that the skills and knowledge I gained as a marketing intern with A&B Solutions make me a strong candidate for this position.

Please let me know if you have questions or need additional information.  Thank you for the opportunity to apply. I look forward to talking with you soon.


John Smith