Spelling, grammar also important when sending resumés
oscar hidalgo/associated press file photo
The Internet lets you find information and socialize, but it’s also a great way to snag your next job. You can get the best out of online applications and double-click your way to employment with the right e-mail etiquette.
Trevor Fencott, president of Groove Games (www.groovegames.com), believes that job hunters can get more results and keep their e-mails from landing in the junk folder by making the distinction between work and play.
“E-mail is an organizational tool that can send mixed messages,” Fencott says. “E-mail is most often used to socialize and connect with friends, and I think people forget that they should still be professional when they send a resumé by e-mail.”
According to a 2005 Statistics Canada study, “about 17.3 million people were in the labour market last year, 67.2 per cent of the working-age population, a decline of 0.3 percentage points from 2004. Much of the decline in 2005 was the result of aging baby boomers, adult women and young people leaving the labour force.”
So if you want to capitalize on that person going on maternity leave or going on to retirement, you may want to brush up on your grammar and spelling.
Vinita Srivastava, assistant professor at Ryerson University’s school of journalism, believes that checking your p’s and q’s when communicating with friends as well as employers can help.
“If an employer reads something with a spelling mistake, you can leave a bad impression right away,” Srivastava says. “Even when you’re getting a friend to forward a resumé to their boss, you have to be careful of your wording in the e-mails you send. Sometimes they won’t check the e-mail for you.”
Being as professional as possible is also important. Fencott says that when you apply for a job online and there’s room to sell yourself, applicants should take every opportunity.
Applicants should also create a neutral e-mail address that will identify you immediately. E-mails like firstname.lastname@example.org not represent you and may even land your next e-application straight to SPAM. An e-mail with your first and last name, at a neutral e-mail database (gmail.com, hotmail.com, or Canada.com) will suffice. To keep your e-mails out of the junk box, make the right impression and be to the point.
“Be concise,” Fencott says. “Don’t completely regurgitate your resumé, but do explain what job you’re applying for, what your qualifications and what you want. E-mail is really another way of asking questions and getting the information you need from people. It can work really well if you use it to your advantage.”