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How to ensure your email CV applications avoid the spam folders


If you are currently on the search for a job you may be finding yourself sending out hundreds of emails to very little response. This may be down to a message that is too long or a message that isn’t clear or doesn’t grab attention. You may even find that a large amount do not reach the recipient and bounce back. In 2013 an estimated 84% of all email traffic was considered spam. This is largely down to marketing automation companies who invest in generating email campaigns.

Recruitment firms and businesses can receive hundreds of talent related messages every day. It is obviously a natural step for businesses to either dedicate a specific job email address, or employ a spam filter.

The role of a spam filter is to remove any potential spam mail that is caught in circulation. This can often mean that your CV can get caught up in these filters. You will often be aware when a spam filter is employed as an email message will be relayed back to you stating that the message couldn’t be delivered successfully. In most cases, a human will not see the message and it will be automatically be deleted.

When a “good” message is received such as a CV, these are often called “false positives”, and they happen more frequently than you think.

It is imperative that your CV is correctly formatted for spam filters and includes relevant keywords. This process may sound unforgiving, but it will drastically improve the likelihood of your resume being read.

  1. Tips for avoiding spam filters
    Call up the company – A very simple tip would be to contact the recruitment firm or business and find out whether they have a dedicated email address or individual in HR who can deal with your inquiry. This is perhaps the easiest option if your message doesn’t send. Also find out what type of candidate they are looking for. This will give you an idea on how you can tailor your CV.
  2. Use keywords – Most online job applications use computer technology to analyse every word in your cover letter. This article on Resumé-Help recommends a number of priority words alongside secondary keywords such as brand name experience and industry qualifications.
  3. Avoid images – Photos and other forms of imagery can often be mistaken for spam content and can be blocked.
  4. Avoid using hyperlinks – If you choose to mention a website always unlink the website so that it is written in plain text. Where you can send plain text as much as possible.
  5. Keep the subject field simple and eye catching – Avoid using punctuation and numbers. Create an eye catching title which is honest and appealing to the recipient.

CV Search

Sophisticated technology is continually being used by businesses and recruitment firms in order to explore CVs for certain criteria. Monster offer a service on the site called ‘Power Resumé Search Test Drive’ which allows employers to search for the most appropriate talent.

Mail Tester and Banana Tag are particularly helpful if you are planning to send your CV. Mail Tester is a website in which you can check the “spam score” of your email and show how likely it will get caught by spam filters. By re-working your email and following the tips above you should receive a higher score which will avoid the spam filter.

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Most importantly make sure that you are the right candidate for the job. Never put skills on your resume that you do not have, regardless of how this will impact screening. Some companies may have an unmanned email address strictly for resumes. It is quite common that you will not receive a response unless the business is interested in your application.

By observing the common mistakes you can ensure that you beat the spam folder. More often than not if you are intending to send a meaningful message you will probably steer clear of the spam folder by default. The most important tip to consider is that if you think you message has gone to an automated spam folder, contact the business via phone and find out if they have a dedicated email address or individual who is in charge of talent and resumes.