Avoid Blast Emails in Job Search


Sometimes we learn from the mistakes of others.  It’s in that spirit that I share the following as an example of how not to submit your resume to prospective employers. 

This generic email was sent to 24 Chicago-area agency leaders — all of whom saw the names of the other recipients and several have brought it to my attention as a job search faux pas.   

My name is J. . . . and I wanted to inquire about any possible job openings or internships you may have available. I believe if you take a look at my resume and writing sample you will find me to be a valuable addition to your company. I am a hard worker and know how to get things done in a timely and efficient manner with quality success. I love to interact with people and work as a team or as an individual to achieve the company’s tasks at hand. I am a very skilled speaker and writer, and my degree has allowed me to become very proficient in the areas of negotiation, persuasion, and compromise. Please email me back and let me know you could open my resume and writing sample. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Fortunately, such emails are rare.  However, the recent Iowa grad who I won’t mention by name violated several basics of good job search etiquette. 

Rule number one: Send personalized emails to individuals, not to blast lists.  The resume transmittal email should not be so obviously generic.  Do a little research on the agency/company and mention what you’ve done that might be relevant.  Finally, update mailing lists.  This email was sent to several of the recipients who have long been retired from their agencies. 

Excellent resume cover letter formats are offered free of charge from Microsoft Office. 

2 thoughts on “Avoid Blast Emails in Job Search

  1. This brings up a very good point. Being a soon-to-be graduate myself, I understand the importance of “keeping your options open” in the job market. However, the employer wants to know they’re investing their time into someone who has invested time into them. I do have one question: I always hear the importance of keeping it short and sweet. So, when is it too much?

  2. “Short and sweet” is the best approach to resume cover letters. I’ll never forget getting a note back from the news editor of the Rocky Mountain News when I was looking for my first job. He thanked me for my “refreshingly brief cover letter.” It contained two, three sentence paragraphs.

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