What’s Happened to the Quality Job Query?

Dear Job Seeker:

I’ve just read your email inquiring about openings at Hopkins PR, and I must respond. Please don’t take offense. Yours is just one of many I’ve received recently, now that graduation season is here. Yours simply prompted the reply I’ve so often been tempted to send — and didn’t.

While the trend has been apparent for some time, I’m noticing increasJob pic canstockphoto9465438ingly poor form with respect to tone, content and attention to detail in emails like yours. I’m baffled by the forethought that would permit such correspondence – yes, email is correspondence – to see the light of a computer inbox.

First, “To Whom It May Concern” isn’t my name, which is on our website where you found my email address. You are probably sending the same letter to dozens of people. If you are really looking for a job, why wouldn’t you acknowledge your prospective employer by name?  You can even address me as “Barbara,” if you spell it correctly. Writing to me personally demonstrates attention to detail, a quality we seek in staff members.

Also tell me something about yourself. I don’t need your entire life story, but I would like to know a little about your experience, skills, interests and any special accomplishments. What makes you stand out? Why would I open the resume you’ve attached? The body of your email is your opportunity to show me you can write, and write well. It’s your best chance to sell me on yourself. “I am writing to ask if you have any openings” is neither compelling nor informative.

Within the six lines you did write, you had one typo and two AP Style errors.

You said you “would be a terific (sic) addition to the Hopkins team.” How do you know? What research about Hopkins led you to that conclusion?

By the way, I did open your resume. It spans two pages, when one would do, and it should be edited for parallel construction.

Here’s hoping my feedback will make a difference in your job search.


Barbara Hyman

Chief Operating Officer









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