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The Career Opportunities How-To

How To Reply To An Online Job Posting

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Replying to a online job posting is just as important as filling out a paper application and just as important as an interview. Looking for a job can be really frustrating as you may be tempted to ‘Spray & Pray” – send out the exact same email to multiple job ads. This is the surest way of not getting a new job. What to say, how to introduce yourself, and what to avoid can get you a interview or leave you wondering why no one has emailed you back. Follow these five steps in replying to online job advertisements.

Step 1

Read the entire advertisement before sending your resume. Receiving a resume from someone who didn’t read the entire ad is one of the most annoying pet peeves of managers, and often times guarantees your response a place in the trash can.

Step 2

The subject line of your email should state why you are sending the person an email.

Example Subject: In response to your Sales Representative ad posted at xxx

Step 3

Use a fairly conventional business letter format: date, address, name, job title and salutation (Mr. Mrs. Or Miss). If you do not know the name or the salutation of the person simply put To whom it may concern. You can also use To the hiring manager. This also applies when faxing resumes. Be sure to address the fax letterhead to the correct person or department.

Step 4

Mention how you heard about the job opening and get straight to the point of why you believe you’re a qualified candidate. Expect to be judged on spelling, grammar and on the letter format. 

Example: “I heard about the Sales Representative position from {blank} and after reading the advertisement as well as about the company itself I was excited to present my resume which will demonstrate five years of experience in corporate sales.

Step 5

In the body of your email or letter use lists and bullet points to allow the hiring manager to be able to quickly pick out skills that make you qualified for the position. Also use well formed paragraphs and sentences that communicate things like your job experience, your education level, and why you want to work for this company.

Finally, close every e-mail with all of your contact information so that the manager will have the information quickly available. Include your email address, phone number, fax number, and actual address.



  • Re-read your email slowly and carefully.
  • Double check the actual email address
  • Repeat this process over and over for a good response


  • Do not send the exact same email to multiple employers.
  • Don't forget to keep track of the emails you sent.