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Email Guidelines and Etiquette

To have a successful job search you need to understand email guidelines and etiquette. You could miss a great opportunity simply because you do not understand the rules of business email or neglect to follow up at the proper time.

Chances are high that you'll be communicating with potential employers via email. Learn how to initiate contact through email, respond to an employer and send a thank-you note. Understand when it's appropriate to send an email versus using postal mail or making a phone call.

In this guide, you will find tips and techniques, including the following:

  • Information for different stages of email communication
  • Etiquette for business emails
  • Subject lines and salutations
  • Content do's and don'ts
  • Format suggestions
  • Resources to learn more about proper etiquette

Today's job market is competitive, and although email makes it easy to connect to potential employers, it's important to understand and use proper email etiquette. For a first contact, email employers when invited to do so by their website, a job ad or a verbal invitation.

Make sure to research the organization before sending an email and explain why you are writing to the person you are contacting. Follow business-like writing style, pay attention to grammar, spelling and punctuation, and be clear and concise. Remember, a well-written email can impress a potential employer; a poorly written email can turn them off.

For answers about etiquette or other aspects of your job search, check out the Employment Readiness lifecycle stage of MySECO or contact a SECO career coach by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647. For additional guidance, use the Live Chat feature on the MySECO website. 

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