If you have had an email account for a while, it probably has a lot of stuff in it that you think will be opened someday. Most of us do this and realize one day we have thousands of unopened emails that might have something important to say. Yikes! How is this helping?
The quick answer is that it is not helping. Email is an important part of your professional life and the way you handle it directly affects your job search. Here are three quick ways to get your email inbox ready for action:
Have A Professional Email Account
If your current email address is pretty casual, that email address could be preventing you from getting a job. Start over with another professional email account that is only used for career purposes. In most cases, your first and middle initial with your last name @ gmail.com, or another e-mail provider, is good. If you have a common last name, you may want to use first name, initial, last name. Do a search on the variables and see what an employer will see when they search your name and choose your email address carefully.
This account is only for your job search and things related to that. This is your brand, the label of your digital presence. Don’t sign up for newsletters, use it for family or friends, or anything but business. If your email address is good and it’s just overwhelmed, put everything in a folder “to be sorted” and start over with the next step.
Set Your Inbox To Sort Automatically
Take the time to set up your professional inbox to sort into appropriate folders automatically and you can see at a glance what has come in. Every time you apply to a company, set up a folder with the rule that new mail from that company goes here. Keep an eye on your folders and know you will not miss anything important.
Whatever your account uses, rules and filters and labels can be set up to make your life efficient. Maximize all the tech you can and you will be ahead of the game, both in the job search and in any job you hold. It’s like having an electronic secretary.
Delete, Delete, Delete
I know a manager who deletes everything but never empties the trash folder so she can search for something “just in case.” This drives the tech support staff nuts, but she thinks she needs that security blanket. How about a folder that has the things you truly may need someday (contact information, for instance) and only keep that?
If you are not curating your inbox ruthlessly, there’s a good chance that you will miss an important email someday soon. Learn how to delete the extraneous stuff so you can focus on your future by having an efficient email inbox during your job search.