8 Tips for getting your job application email read

Nothing is more frustrating as a job seeker than sending a job application email out and not getting a response or even knowing if it was received.

You might be blocking your job application email from even getting to the employer’s inbox. Or perhaps you could look more professional when your email does arrive in the inbox.

Your Name

#1 → Your email address for your resume should read firstnamelastname@email.com. Add your email to your resume as part of the header. If your name is John Smith, try using your middle initial or even your whole middle name. johnhsmith@gmail.com or johnhowardsmith@gmail.com.

No numbers

#2. → Don’t put numbers in your e-mail address. It looks unprofessional and if you ever look closely at your spam filter, many of the e-mail addresses in spam have numbers. Keep yourself out of the spam filters.

Don’t use Cute names in your job application email

#3 → Don’t use cute names or hobby names. If you are already doing #1, I shouldn’t have to say this, but job seekers give addresses saying things like: dirttanks@msn.com or fluffypuppy@aol.com or bigpackerfan@yahoo.com. Most of the time, I will tell my clients to change their address or set up a new one for their job search.

No Business E-mail

#4 → Don’t use your business e-mail. Even if your employer says it is ok because you during a corporate restructuring or downsizing, it is better to use your own. Prospective employers don’t know if you have permission and if an opportunity comes up down the road, you want that email to get to your personal inbox. Obvious, right? Employers do look at e-mail from their employees and will terminate people for abuse of company property (which includes computers and e-mail systems.)

Reliable e-mail provider

#5 → Use a reliable e-mail provider. You need to access your email from anywhere. If you rely on a system that can only be accessed at home, you might miss a job offer or interview. I set my clients up on gmail.com (Google mail.) My IT specialists have recommended it as the most reliable free program out there. If you have your own website for your job search with your own domain name and you can get access to it from anywhere, that is even better. Website: http://johnsmith.com so e-mail: johnsmith@johnsmith.com

Check Email regularly

#6. → Check your email. This also should be common sense but check your job application email at least daily, preferably morning and night. I check my email much more than that but I have run into job seekers who tell me they rarely check their emails. I have helped clients with uploading resumes into online systems. Most send an auto-response immediately but sometimes a real person sends an email that instructs you on the next step in the process.

Use an job application email signature

#7. → Use a signature block. I did a quick scan of email from clients and I found that most don’t have a signature block and the few that did were using business e-mail addresses and signatures. (see #4) What is a signature block? Jason Alba covered this recently. I look at mine regularly but it should have contact information in it. Your name, email address, cell phone number Below is my current signature which is obviously a business signature. Yours should be personal.

Blessings on your career happiness!

Julie Walraven, Triple-Certified Resume Writer, CERM | CMRW | CPRW
Design Resumes  1202 Elm Street | Wausau, WI  54401

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Phone: 715-574-5263 | Email: julie@designresumes.com

Be Professional

#8 → Reply professionally. Commonsense, yes but often forgotten. Make sure that everything you do and say is professional when you are in a job search. Your phone etiquette, your email response, your personal appearance, everything is done with your target in mind.

Do you have more tips for helping the job seeker get email read? Leave them in the comments.

Need help? Hire me, Julie Walraven, Certified Master Resume Writer. I can take the pain out of writing your resume and even make the process fun. We work together to discover those forgotten contributions and position you to win your next role. To find out how, Click Here.


  1. Laurie Bartolo on July 16, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Julie, these are great tips – thanks for writing about this. As a recruiter, I get very frustrated when I don’t have a reliable way to quickly get in touch with someone. We all have our communication preferences (e.g., phone, email, etc.) but many recruiters (including me) love the speed of email. I really wish people would just get a free gmail account, first name dot last name, as you’ve suggested in your post – even if you only use it for your job search, that’s fine.

    Everyone has heard how busy recruiters are, right? Well, that means we work fast and under a lot of pressure. I’ve personally mistyped complicated email addresses when trying to contact a candidate, and only found out about it when I got the error email in return. By then, I’m frustrated to go back and carefully/slowly type in some crazy address that reads like a high-security password (usually these include some characters from the person’s name and numbers). It’s an email address, not a password!! Passwords are designed to keep people out; your email address should be designed to make it easy for people to contact you.

    I have a couple of other suggestions to add –

    Depending on the font you use, an “i” and an “l” can be easily confused. So, if those letters are in your name/email address, be sure the font you use makes it clear.

    And be sure to proofread your email address (and other contact information) – I have had candidates misspell their own email address, or provide an incorrect email address – it really doesn’t leave a good impression when I get an “invalid address” reply or when my email reaches the wrong person whose email address you mistakenly put on your resume.

    • Julie Walraven on July 16, 2010 at 9:42 am

      Wonderful comment, Laurie! And great to hear from your perspective! I find that there are so many people who are not even aware of the trouble they can cause and the potential for missing the job opportunity! Come back and leave your great insight again!

  2. Shahrzad Arasteh on July 16, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Great tips, Julie! Thanks for another great post.

    • Julie Walraven on July 16, 2010 at 10:53 am

      Thanks, Shahrzad, I saw your comment come in by e-mail and I was waiting for you to give me more tips. Hope you are well!

  3. Keith Davis on July 18, 2010 at 2:32 am

    Hi Julie
    Some great advice there – particularly liked… “Use a signature block”
    Not heard of it before but I’ll head over to the Jason Alba link and take a look.
    .-= Keith Davis´s last undefined ..Response cached until Sun 18 @ 10:22 GMT (Refreshes in 52 Minutes) =-.

    • Julie Walraven on July 18, 2010 at 5:49 am

      Thanks Keith, If you are using Outlook or another program that drives your e-mail, you can set a signature. I just checked my own Gmail account that I rarely use and if you go to the settings,you can turn signature on and set-up whatever signature you want.

      • Julie Walraven on July 18, 2010 at 5:56 am

        Except I tried to paste the signature above into the signature area and kept getting the message that it was too long even when I deleted almost everything. I tend to cut and paste so you might want to try actually typing the information in. Gmail does not give a character message so you don’t know what the limit is.

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