Emails are often the first opportunity candidates have to make an impression. But as you increasingly rely on technology to act as an intermediary between you and hiring organizations, and with the increased usage of applications like ChatGPT and other AI chatbots, how can you make sure that impression is a positive one and you’re maintaining a human touch? Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind before you hit send:
One of the most important things is to make sure you are in a good frame of mind before you contact an organization or a physician recruiter for the first time. Being stressed or aggravated about a completely unrelated situation can affect the tone of your email, possibly giving an impression you never intended.
Keep your subject line concise. Enough said.
Know your audience
Start your email with a salutation and your recipient’s name: for example, “Hi Jane” or “Dear Mr. Smith.” Double-check the recipient’s name – specifically the spelling – and be aware of their titles and credentials. Starting an email with “Hi Dan,” when you meant to email Mr. Dane could give a recruiter the idea that you lack attention to detail or worse, that you lack interest.
Don’t be too casual
When you are trying to be friendly or more casual, the temptation is to be more relaxed about proper grammar and punctuation. Avoid this temptation. Your email can still have a relaxed tone while remaining professional. Additionally, it’s best to hold off on using abbreviations or emojis in your initial messages to recruiters – or at least until you get a better feel for their personality.
Wait for the punchline
Humor may seem like a great way to break the ice and add some relatability to your emails but use it with extreme caution. What is funny or ironic to one person could be offensive to someone else. Keep in mind that some people are just more reserved than others. A great rule of thumb when it comes to humor is: When in doubt, leave it out!
Go easy on the emphasis
Avoid overusing emphasis techniques. Using bold or brightly colored fonts or too many exclamation points may come across as somewhat aggressive. It’s also best to avoid using all caps, as many consider that the same as yelling.
Are you still being brief?
Make your email easy to read by keeping it as brief as possible while still providing the pertinent information. Try to avoid repeating the same information in different ways, which can come across as degrading. Remember, you don’t necessarily need to include all the details about yourself in the first communication. Leave the door open for them to initiate further contact with you to get additional information.
Use positive word choices
Make sure you use positive wording as much as possible. For instance, you could say “I have the opportunity to work with my organization until July 1” as opposed to “I hope to hear back from you before my current job ends on July 1.” These statements mean the same thing, but the second one is definitely more aggressive.
Choose your parting words
Choose the sign off for your email carefully. Some good options for a closing are “Best Regards” or “Thanks.” Closing an email with “Sincerely” is a bit more formal but is also a good way to sign off.
Before you hit send
When you’ve completed your email don’t forget the most important step: proofreading. Read the email out loud and pay attention to your tone. Is it too abrupt? Too casual? Make the changes necessary so that it conveys the type of communication you want. When you’re happy with the wording, go back and double-check for spelling errors and typos.
If you are using programs like ChatGPT, or other chatbots, this would be a great time to plug in drafted messages and ask the chatbot to optimize them. From checking the spelling and grammar to ensuring your tone is coming across as intended, utilizing these systems can be a smart final step.
While keeping these suggestions in mind when crafting your emails may take a little longer the first few times, the end result could be well worth it.
The main goal of any written correspondence is to convey you are a real person with a genuine interest in becoming an integral part of their organization. While there may be occasions where a chatbot could compose an email more quickly, some emails require a more personal touch. And when you’re looking for something as important as the perfect job opportunity, taking a few extra minutes to add that human touch can be timeless.