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Email your way to a top Job

Workplaces everywhere have swapped out the traditional cover letter, for a simple cover email these days.

It might seem like less work, but applying by email doesn’t necessarily make your life as a candidate any easier. We all know emails are easy to ignore and that employers who get sent a lot, often end up skim reading them as a result.

That’s why taking the time to craft a powerful and persuasive cover email is crucial, especially if you’re looking to cut through the noise of other applicants.

We spoke to email start-up, Paperfold, who get lots of job applications each week; processing these can be time-consuming and repetitive, so messages can just pass by unnoticed unless there’s something different about them.

Here are a few tips they gave us for getting noticed when you apply by email:

Explain in the first line how you came across the role and why its interesting to you

To save time reading applications, we usually start by reading the first line and ignore the message if it doesn’t immediately grab us.

Many of the covering emails we receive tend to follow the same patterns. Typically, in the first line a prospective candidate will introduce themselves and explain all the things that they’ve achieved. This approach can work, but isn’t always enough to engage us fully and can become repetitive after reading several applications.

We tend to get most excited when we learn about how a candidate came across our company in particular, and what got them curious about applying. In our experience, curiosity is a good place to start from: it shows us how a candidate thinks.

Using this element of the applications, we can quickly eliminate the people that obviously apply to lots of similar roles using the same overall template.

Highlight some relevant experience from your CV

It can be tempting to fill the cover email with as many examples as possible, but for an employer, the quality, relevance and timing of your experience is what matters to them the most. Too many points can come across as unbelievable and too few show a lack of experience.

We’ve found it easier to reply to candidates who highlight 3-5 experiences in the form of bullet points. This is usually enough for us to know if we need to follow up or ask more about the candidate.

Learn from responses and ask further questions

The replies or rejections you receive from employers can help you with cover emails. Don’t be afraid of asking why you didn’t get a role, since knowing this will help you target and craft a better email for the next one.

Even if you get a ‘no’ from a company, if you’ve make the right impression its easier for that company to recommend you to someone else. Sometimes at Paperfold, we come across a really good candidate that just isn’t right for us, and we will recommend them to similar start-ups that we know, based on a strong cover email.

Check your email frequently

After sending out your applications, you’ll need to keep an eye on responses or calls for interview. Jobs can go quickly, so its important to keep in touch after an interview.

At Paperfold, we use our company’s iPad email app to read our job applications, when on the go.

Since Paperfold highlights attached documents with bold colours, its quicker for us to see the candidates who have attached CVs, among everything else coming into our inboxes.

For more of their expert email tips, follow Paperfold on Twitter: @PaperfoldApp