Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

How to Write the 7 Most Awkward Job-Related Emails

Writing Emails

It’s not what you say but how you say it.

In Boston this spring, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation proved that statement when it turned a mundane road sign into a viral sensation.

Rather than tell motorists to “Use Your Turn Signals,” the department took a more familiar approach with locals:

Now go “Pahk the Cah in Hahvahd Yahd.”

MassDOT officials realize to catch the attention of drivers, they need to connect with their audience in a thick Boston accent.

The takeaway for our careers? People will listen to — and act on — what we ask of them, but we need to use the right language in the right ways. Frankly, that’s a huge reason young professionals struggle to land jobs.

Below are instructions for how to write the seven most awkward job-related emails. You know, the kind of emails where you think “Umm, how do I say this exactly?”

1. How to respond when you don’t get the job but still want to stay on the company’s radar

“Hi _____

Thanks a lot for the response. I’m sorry I did not land the job but appreciate your email to let me know.

All the best,

-You

Note: Then, when they least suspect it, you also send a handwritten note and thank the person for the opportunity to interview. Why? Check out this comment from an NTLB post republished on Ragan, a communications resource: “I sent a thank you note after I bombed a technical interview where I was clearly not qualified for the job, and a couple weeks later they called me with an opening that was a perfect fit because my note had made them remember me.”

2. How to network with someone who’s really important

“Hi _____

My name is _______, and I am [how you know this person]. I saw [your connecting person] the other day, mentioned what I’m up to and she suggested I connect with you.

[2-3 sentences on "what you're up to" and in this section, clearly explain why you'd like to network with this person. What do you want from him/her? Be direct.]

I know you’re busy, and I would really appreciate a few minutes of your time. If you have a few minutes, we can meet in person somewhere convenient for you or talk over the phone.

Thanks in advance, and please let me know what works.

- You”

Notes: It’s important to tell the person 1) your connection to him/her 2) what you need/want and 3) you understand he/she is super busy and you want to be respectful and not take a lot of time. Important people move fast, especially in big cities.

3. Networking email to someone you sorta kinda know at a company where you want to work

“Hi _____,

My name is _______. A while back, you and I [give the reason you two know each other; be as descriptive as possible so the person will know right away]. I hope you’re doing well!

I was on your company website and see your team is hiring for [specific name of the position]. I am well qualified for the job and have a good deal of experience. [Give one solid example to back up your claim; no longer than 1-2 sentences.]

If I send along my resume, do you think you can pass it to the right person? If you need me to provide any other information that would help, I’m happy to do so.

Thanks so much, and I hope to hear from you.

- You”

Notes: Details. Details. Details. Be clear who you are, how you know the person and what you need that person to do. And don’t make this mistake with your job application.

4. Email two weeks after a job interview and you’ve heard nothing

“Hi ______,

My name is _______, and two weeks ago I interviewed at your office for the position of _______. I want to follow up and check on the status of the job opening. If you need more information from me, please let me know.

Thanks so much,

- You”

5. Bothering someone important who said he/she would pass along your resume but hasn’t yet

“Hi _____,

I hope you’re doing well!

I am ______, and I [remind the person how you two became acquainted]. I want to follow up about my resume as you mentioned you could pass it along to [the person who you want to see it]. Again, it would be great if you’re still able to do that.

And if you can send along the resume, please remind [the person who you want to see it] that [1-2 lines on why you are the best person for the position; give your networker a bit of ammo he/she can use].

Again, I know you’re busy so I appreciate your willingness to help me.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,

- You

Notes: Always overcommunicate the small details. Never assume people remember you or what you need from them.

6. How to ask for a letter of recommendation from someone you haven’t talked to in five years

“Hi _____,

This is [your name], your student from [names the class(es), the year(s) and the school]. I know it’s been a while since we last spoke, and I hope you’re doing great.

[If you feel comfortable enough, ask a question or two about the person. For example: "How's college life still treating you?" or "How's your family?"]

I am [the reason you need the letter of recommendation]. I would appreciate a recommendation from you if you have the time. If you need me to send along any biographical information or remind you of the work I did in your classes, I am happy to do that.

Thanks so much, and I hope to hear from you soon.

- You

Notes: Offer to provide additional information, make absolutely sure the person will remember who you are and, in general, be accommodating. You have 17 other challenges to worry about in the real world. Avoid a snag here.

7. How to write an email to set up the “I’m leaving” conversation with your boss

“Hi _____,

Do you have a few minutes at the end of the day? I’d like to talk with you about something.

Thanks,

- You”

Notes: No easy way to start this conversation, but it’s best to leave the details to the in-person meeting.

(This content was originally posted at News to Live By.)

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of Fox Television’s "Shelly Palmer Digital Living" television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.

Latest Stories
With more than 30 Kubernetes solutions in the marketplace, it's tempting to think Kubernetes and the vendor ecosystem has solved the problem of operationalizing containers at scale or of automatically managing the elasticity of the underlying infrastructure that these solutions need to be truly scalable. Far from it. There are at least six major pain points that companies experience when they try to deploy and run Kubernetes in their complex environments. In this presentation, the speaker will d...
While DevOps most critically and famously fosters collaboration, communication, and integration through cultural change, culture is more of an output than an input. In order to actively drive cultural evolution, organizations must make substantial organizational and process changes, and adopt new technologies, to encourage a DevOps culture. Moderated by Andi Mann, panelists discussed how to balance these three pillars of DevOps, where to focus attention (and resources), where organizations might...
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
When building large, cloud-based applications that operate at a high scale, it's important to maintain a high availability and resilience to failures. In order to do that, you must be tolerant of failures, even in light of failures in other areas of your application. "Fly two mistakes high" is an old adage in the radio control airplane hobby. It means, fly high enough so that if you make a mistake, you can continue flying with room to still make mistakes. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Le...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
As Cybric's Chief Technology Officer, Mike D. Kail is responsible for the strategic vision and technical direction of the platform. Prior to founding Cybric, Mike was Yahoo's CIO and SVP of Infrastructure, where he led the IT and Data Center functions for the company. He has more than 24 years of IT Operations experience with a focus on highly-scalable architectures.
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
CI/CD is conceptually straightforward, yet often technically intricate to implement since it requires time and opportunities to develop intimate understanding on not only DevOps processes and operations, but likely product integrations with multiple platforms. This session intends to bridge the gap by offering an intense learning experience while witnessing the processes and operations to build from zero to a simple, yet functional CI/CD pipeline integrated with Jenkins, Github, Docker and Azure...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Dhiraj Sehgal works in Delphix's product and solution organization. His focus has been DevOps, DataOps, private cloud and datacenters customers, technologies and products. He has wealth of experience in cloud focused and virtualized technologies ranging from compute, networking to storage. He has spoken at Cloud Expo for last 3 years now in New York and Santa Clara.
Enterprises are striving to become digital businesses for differentiated innovation and customer-centricity. Traditionally, they focused on digitizing processes and paper workflow. To be a disruptor and compete against new players, they need to gain insight into business data and innovate at scale. Cloud and cognitive technologies can help them leverage hidden data in SAP/ERP systems to fuel their businesses to accelerate digital transformation success.
Containers and Kubernetes allow for code portability across on-premise VMs, bare metal, or multiple cloud provider environments. Yet, despite this portability promise, developers may include configuration and application definitions that constrain or even eliminate application portability. In this session we'll describe best practices for "configuration as code" in a Kubernetes environment. We will demonstrate how a properly constructed containerized app can be deployed to both Amazon and Azure ...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.