How to write an email- 5 spam-proof tips

There are a couple of important things to note when you’re writing an email. The average person receives about 120 emails each day and only opens 25% of them. This is approximately 30 but I guarantee you that it’s probably way less. I for one only open about 5 on a good day. You need an email that doesn’t get lost in the noise of the receiver’s inbox.

When the receiver opens, the goal is to get them to read your email instead of adding it to spam. Here’s how to write an email in 5 easy steps:

1. Start with an eye-catching subject line

Your subject line is the make or break part of your email. If you’re competing with 130 emails for attention then you want to stand out in every way possible. Make sure your subject line goes straight to the point. NEVER send an email without a subject line.

If it’s a job application, sometimes employers give guidelines for what your subject line should be. In this case, follow the rules. It’s not the time to get creative. Keep your subject line short and sweet- should be 55 characters or less.

Here are a couple of good examples of good email subject lines:

Job Application: Application for the role of Marketing Associate
Cold email: Career growth training opportunity for your employees
Follow up: Re: Application for the role of Marketing Associate

2. Time for salutations

‘Dear Ms. Z’ Or ‘Dear Mr. Y’ is really your safest bet in formal situations. If you’re sure about the gender of the person you’re sending to, you can use ‘Dear Sir’ or ‘Dear Madam’.

Please avoid saying ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ as much as possible because it tells the person that you didn’t really bother to do a bit of research on who you were sending the email to.

For less formal companies and organisations, you can just say Hello X. If you’re in doubt, always use Mr., Ms., Dr. or Professor to be on the safe side

3. Ask how they’re doing

This is just a one-liner that makes a good difference in your email. It’s a tad rude to just go straight to what you want. When you’re sending an email, you want to ask how they’re doing before saying anything else.

4. Introduce yourself and get straight to the point

So you’ve gotten the receiver’s attention, good job! It’s time to give them a brief but concise introduction of yourself  and what you do in relation to the email you’re sending.

An email

Here’s a great example:

My name is Sola Adebakin and I’m a software engineer at XYZ solutions. I am writing to apply for the role of Chief Technology Officer at She Leads Africa.

If you’re writing on behalf of a company, you should introduce yourself first and say your role before introducing your company and what your company does.

Example:

My name is Sola Adebakin and I’m a software engineer at XYZ solutions. I am writing to give you a better and faster alternative to 4G internet for your company through a new solution provided by XYZ

XYZ is a wifi solutions provider that gives companies up to 5 times faster internet services. We’ve helped companies like Sterling Bank, Frosty Bites and MalcolmTrust get up to 5 times faster internet and we’d love to do the same to you.

You can then go on with your ask but keep it as short as possible never let your email exceed 4 paragraphs unless absolutely necessary.

5. Close it out

For your closing words, Warm regards is one of the safest options to use. You could also use Best or Regards in a more informal email.

Example:

Warm regards,
Tiffany Aku

That’s it! your email is ready to conquer your receiver’s inbox!

 

This is how you get your resume to the top of the pile

We’ve all seen our fair share of resumes. And to be honest, most of them had room for improvement.

And because SLA loves seeing you slay professionally, we are spilling the beans on how to create a memorable resume with these 5 tips.

Resume or curriculum vitae?

Whereas a resume is a brief overview of a person’s educational achievement and work experience, a curriculum vitae (CV) is not.

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A CV is a detailed version of a resume. Decide which one suits your needs best, or better still, create two templates for different job applications.

The order of things

Do you know those people who get lost in the layout of their documents? Or those who start without a layout? I was one of those people,and can tell you it’s not having one is counterproductive.

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To create an outline, draw up all the information your resume need, splitting them into clear categories. Then arrange the work experiences either chronologically or based on functionality.

Last, work on overall look. Try to stay away from fancy fonts, and please no funky colours unless you’re applying for creative position.

Stay serious

I’ve performed stand-up comedy that left people (OK, just my mom) in tears. Nowadays, I think twice before cracking a joke. Humor is subjective, because it’s personal.

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To a potential employer, your resume is just a piece of paper, or a pdf. Getting clever or artsy on your resume can destroy your chances of getting a job.

Applying for a job is serious affair, so make sure your resume reflects that.

Be honest

Remember when Joey from Friends acted like he danced with the National Ballet? He looked like a fool at his audition with his poor excuse for jazz hands. Tribbiani taught me to never, ever lie on my resume!

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Holidaying three weeks in Paris does not make you fluent in French, and does not count as an ‘intense course of European languages’ either. 

Do yourself a favour and list only those skills and achievements you can prove.

Show initiative

A lot of companies use an applicant tracking system (ATS). Avoid these whenever you can. Headhunters and recruitment professionals tell us the more pro-active and personal we are in reaching out, the more likely we are to be invited to an interview.

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In your email, compliment the company on their recent achievement or a speech given by the CEO, and share your interest in ongoing projects. These will demonstrate you’re interested in the company, and who knows you might just be getting that call saying you’ve been hired.

So there you have it, our top 5 tips to creating a memorable CV. What other tips do you have for keeping your resume above the rest? Share them with us.