I hope everyone is fine. I recently posted an email on the EME Alumni Yahoo Group and am posting the same here with some additions. Over the past couple of years i have posted some job openings for fresh graduates on this mailing list quite a few times (these openings were mostly at LUMS SSE). I have noted that many people make the following mistakes while applying for a job:

  • Attaching your CV with a blank email. Courtesy demands that you include a brief and to-the-point message in the body of the email. This can be your brief introduction and you can refer to the job ad because of which you applied. Applying through a blank email is not a professional thing to do.
  • Applying without attaching the required documents. If the job post demands that you send your CV and the scan of some other document such as an academic transcript then you should send the CV along with whatever else is asked for. If you do not possess the required document such as a transcript at that time, then mention in your email that you will send that document at the earliest possible time.
  • Apply by the specified deadline. A deadline for application submission is given because the hiring company/institution will wait for applications ONLY till the specified time after which they would start their hiring process such as short listing of candidates for interviews, etc. It will not be useful to send a CV after the deadline has passed because it will not be considered in most cases.
  • DO NOT copy and paste from earlier covering letters without properly checking each line of the covering letter. I recently posted a job opening at LUMS SSE. I received some applications which had a proper message in the main body of the email. But i was surprised to read in the applicant’s email that he was applying to NUST SEECS whereas the job was at LUMS SSE and he was sending it to an email address that ended with @lums.edu.pk. He didn’t even change the date in his email message. This leaves a negative impression at the employer’s end.
  • It is better to send a .pdf version of your documents instead of a .doc/.docx version.
  • Name the .pdf file of your CV/Documents properly. For example if person ABC is sending their CV then its a good idea to name the .pdf document as “CV-ABC.pdf” and so on.
  • Use the “Subject” field of the email properly. Proper usage of the subject field will help the person at the employer’s end to know what you are applying for. Sometimes the employer may have asked for applications for multiple and different posts. Mostly people do not refer to the job ad, just write a blank email and do not use the subject field properly … in such cases the employer does not consider such applications as they have no choice. You can mention the position for which you are applying the subject field.
  • Use formal email addresses to send emails. I have noted that people use strange email addresses to apply to jobs, please use a proper email address in such correspondence. EME Alumni Association is now providing the EME Alumni with “@alum.ceme.edu.pk” email option. This is better than using hotmail/yahoo/gmail for such correspondence. So you can make an email address like, (firstname@alum.ceme.edu.pk) or (firstname.lastname@alum.ceme.edu.pk). Even if you decide to use hotmail/yahoo/gmail … please include your name in the email address. Addresses which are informal do not leave a good impression at all.
  • Use a proper email signature to close your email. Make your own signature like
    First_Name Last_Name
    Student of BE (Electrical Engineering)
    College of E&ME NUST
    Contact Number: (Optional)
    This is a nice way to end your email

The EME Alumni blog has some other very useful articles on resume writing and blunders that people do while applying for a job. Junior alumni and present students of EME College (specially the final year students) should go through these. Best wishes to all of you.

Shahrukh Athar