Choose the right font style and size
Always choose a font style and size that is easy to read. It should also give a professional look to your matter. Fonts that are too fancy or tiny can be difficult on the eyes and no recruiter has the time to decipher your application content. Some of the commonly preferred fonts for professional purposes are Times New Roman, Arial, Georgia, Calibri etc., although there are many other new fonts available these days that are good alternatives. The font size usually preferred is between 11 and 12.
Provide a suitable Subject line
The subject line in an email application serves as the Reference line in a hard copy application. An ideal subject line will include your domain of expertise and years of experience along with the position you are applying for.
Application for Software Developer position –PHP developer with 5 years’ experience
Pay attention to the job advertisement to see if there are any specifications regarding the application format. Sometimes, employers prefer subject line of applications to be in a particular format, like including the job code or reference id or the position title applying for. This is to facilitate easy sorting of applications by tracking systems and will be specified in the advertisement. If you miss this, your application might not be picked up at all by the tracking system. Hence, keep a keen eye for this.
Enclose a cover letter
Cover letters are an essential part of job applications. It is a good idea to always enclose a cover letter along with your resume whether they are asked for or not. Hiring managers can get up to hundreds of applications everyday and hence they may decide to give attention to only those that genuinely seem interested in the job. For this, you need to convey that you are well-informed of the job position and are perfectly qualified for the job. This is the motive of a cover letter.
Read about some general tips you need to know for writing an effective cover letter.
Also, check out some examples of cover letter formats here.
Attach your CV or Resume
Your CV or Resume is the meat of the application and requires a very careful crafting. This is what determines whether you land the interview or not. Make sure whether the employer has asked for a CV or resume and send your document accordingly. Although the purpose of both is the same, there are differences in the format, content and presentation of both CV and resume.
Read in detail about tips and samples for writing a good resume.
Check the File format
As much as the content of a resume or cover letter is important, so is its file format. Use a word processing software to create your document. Once done, you may save it in .doc or .docx or .pdf format. Ideally, saving in pdf format is a better choice as in will hold your formatting and styling intact when opened in any computer or browser. The doc files have a risk of clumsy formatting if opened in older versions of some word processing softwares. However, if your hiring manager has requested specifically for a particular file format, adhere to it.
Look for any pointers in the ad for attaching documents. If the employer requires you to attach the cover letter, instead of putting it in the body of the email, do it so. Save your cover letter in .txt or .doc format and attach them along with the CV before applying. In that case, the body of the email can be short and casual like below.
Dear Mr. <EMPLOYER NAME>,
Please find attached my CV and cover letter for your kind perusal, for the position of <POSITION NAME> in your esteemed company.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Set up an Email Signature
It is a good idea to configure an email signature in your Email client. It should include your name, address, contact information and links to any social profiles like LinkedIn or GitHub. Doing this will save your time from manually adding this information every time you send an application.
Follow-up on applications
Finally, it is equally important to do a follow-up on your sent applications after maybe 4 or 5 days. This will show your interest in the job opening and will ensure that your application does not go overlooked. You can write a casual letter along the lines:
Dear Mr. <EMPLOYER NAME>,
I hope you had a great weekend. A few days ago, I sent you an application for the advertised position of <POSITION NAME> and I just wanted to make sure that you received it.
I’m really excited at the prospect of working at <COMPANY NAME>, and I look forward to the opportunity of meeting with you to discuss this opportunity further.