Fun Fact: 80%-90% of all emails sent on the internet are spam. You may not know this, I certainly didn’t think of it while I was job hunting but your CV may accidentally end up in the employers spam folder. Its disheartening when you send off your application and the employer doesn’t even grace you with a reply, but they might not even be receiving your email.
To avoid this, we’ve come up with 5 simple methods to make sure your CV gets through the filter.
1. Avoid ‘spammy’ words.
Spam filters have been programmed to automatically send emails to the spam folder if they contain “bad” words. Words such as “free”, “expand”, “trail”, and “mortgages”. Have a look through your spam folder and see what kind of words are used and then see if they’re contained in your CV. Watch out for:
- Types of products that are commonly marketed through spam. Try to be careful if you’ve ever been involved in mortgages and pharmaceuticals.
- Sales pitch adjectives such as “free” or “best”.
- Currency symbols. It may be important to include if you’re saying how much you’ve sold or increased revenues by etc. But currency is a big alert for spam filters, you tend to see emails such as “Make £10,000 A Month With Google”.
2. Beware attachments.
Most jobseekers tend to send their CV and cover letter to the employer as an attachment, I certainly did, but companies IT software will often view attachments from outside the company as spam. They view them with suspicion, as so many virus’s are spread through email attachments so companies can’t be too careful. In order to rectify this just copy and paste your CV and cover letter into the body of the email as a plain text.
3. Mass emailing.
Mass emailing is deemed suspicious by the filtering system because thats how spam emails are sent around, hundreds or even thousands at the same time. Now, you shouldn’t really be sending mass emails to employers as you should be tailoring your CV for each one. Organisations won’t be impressed if they see that you’ve sent out your CV and cover letter to 50 other companies. Putting the addresses into the “bcc” box will fool humans but won’t trick the spam system. Also, beware of recruitment companies that send out your CV and cover letters to employers, however legitimate and helpful they are. You should enquire as to how they solve the spam filtering problem. They should be compliant to sharing their received and open metrics with you.
4. Avoid HTML.
If your email client allows you to change the colour, size and type of font you use, this is all HTML. Sure it does make the email a bit more attractive and interesting but thats why spam emails are formatted this way. So avoid bright fonts, lots of hyperlinks, ALL CAPSLOCK and the classic “??????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”, not that you would send that anyway!
5. Be careful with the subject line
Some employers may automatically delete your email if they don’t know what its about via a subject line. They may think its spam that has filtered through and may unleash a virus if it’s opened. So be sure to use the subject line to accurately describe what you’re sending, for example, “highly adept account handler with CRM experience. Also try to avoid numbers, symbols or punctuation as many spammers will format their subject line this way. Even using all caps to try and make it stand out in an employers inbox will be marked as spam, (plus its considered shouting).
If you’re at all worried that your CV email is getting blocked as spam then you can always send it through a spam checker such as emailspamtest.com.