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Major mistakes when responding to job offers

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Wondering why you never got an answer to your e-mail? Sometimes potential clients do not have the time or simply do not need your services. Other times, it could very well be that your message is the real reason. Have a look at the following mistakes to see if any of them sound familiar and find out how to avoid these mistakes in the future.

Always check your spelling
Mistakes are unacceptable when selling language services.
Solution: Use a spellchecker and proofread your message.
Reason: It looks unprofessional and does not instil confidence.
Actually… It makes selecting potential candidates much easier.

Answer the client’s questions
Potential clients should never have to search for answers.
Solution: Make sure you actually answer their questions.
Reason: It looks like you haven’t read their job offer.
Actually… Who wants to work with someone who can’t communicate?

Resist applying for a freelance job following an in-house job offer
A potential client knows what they need better than you do.
Solution: Read the posting carefully.
Reason: It looks like you don’t care what your client needs.
Actually… It can look desperate.

Avoid using ‘Dear Sirs’
Using ‘Dear Sirs’ means you are making assumptions that could offend.
Solution: Use ‘Dear Sir or Madam’.
Actually… Women throw these ones out and men find them impersonal.

When answering per e-mail:

Do not send your résumé as an attachment unless asked
Solution: Paste your résumé into the body of your e-mail.
Reason: People will regard your e-mail as a virus and throw it out.
Actually… It’s quite irritating.

Do not automatically hit the reply button of your e-mail programme
Put the right e-mail address in your reply before writing.
Reason: You may need to send it to a different person.
Actually… You come off inexperienced and sloppy.

Sending e-mail to several people with their addresses showing
People respond better to anything addressed to them personally.
Solution: Test your e-mail by sending a message to yourself.
Actually… It shows a lack of confidentiality.

Other things to avoid

Writing in capital letters.
Actually… It looks and feels like screaming.

Sending an e-mail message with nothing but “see attachment”.
Actually… It looks like spam, it’s impersonal, and will be thrown out.

Applying for a job offer that does not match your qualifications.
Actually… It can look desperate and it is a waste of time.

Using a tone that is either too humble or too overbearing.
Actually… It sets a bad tone for any future dealings.

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