A woman wearing a yellow sweater is emailing a recruiter on her laptop

How to Make a Great First Impression

Hannah Mason
Job Search

How to Make a Great First Impression

Hannah Mason • Apr 28, 2022

First Impressions Are So Important

In these first interactions, we tell the world more about ourselves than we realise. People are quick to make judgements and first impressions can be difficult to change. This is especially true when applying for a new job.

At What Point Do We Make This ‘First’ Impression?

The job interview, our CV? No, it comes before both of these. Our first impression is actually made in the opening email to a hiring manager or recruiter.

Many people do not spend time on this important part of their application and it’s letting them down! 

When I was a recruiter, I would often see candidates who had very good CVs let themselves down because they had put no effort into crafting a professional introductory email.

The danger is that if a recruiter, or hiring manager, is put off by the opening email, they may not get as far as opening your CV.

Emails with spelling errors and poor grammar tell the prospective employer that you don’t have attention to detail, and potentially, that you don’t really care about the role that you are applying for.

How Should You Structure Your Opening Email?

Use an Appropriate Greeting

If you know the person’s name then use it!

The best way to do this is ‘Dear…’.

It’s simple and professional. If their name is in their email address then there is no excuse not to use it!

If you don’t know their name then ‘Good morning/afternoon’ hits the right tone. It’s friendly and polite and will resonate with English-speakers of all nationalities. Phrases like ‘Greetings’ or ‘Good Day’ are old-fashioned and are best avoided.

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‍Consider the Length

You don’t want to tell your whole life story, but equally one-line emails make you look lazy. You should aim to include one to two short paragraphs in your first email to a hiring manager or recruiter.

Remember, the person you are emailing might receive hundreds of CVs that day, so make sure you include only the most relevant and important information and be succinct.

Content Is Key 

You should aim to convince the recipient why you are perfect for the job, not why the job is perfect for you.

Improve your chances of standing out by including the most important points in your email.

The Best Emails Are Structured as Follows

1. Why you are sending this email. Include why you want to work with the company

e.g. “I’m writing to you regarding the Sales Manager position I’ve seen advertised as I believe this role is a good fit with my skills, expertise and career history. I’ve been following your company for a while and it’s been great to hear of your recent growth and I’d love to be a part of this journey.”

2. Why they should pay attention to your CV

e.g. “During my time in my current role, I have consistently achieved top sales results and designed a new tracking system which resulted in converting more leads to sales. I believe I can bring added value to this role and help your organisation succeed in this fast–paced market place.”

3. Give next steps, including how to contact you

e.g. “I hope that my CV will demonstrate to you my suitability for this role and I would value the opportunity to discuss this position with you further. Should you like to get in touch, you can reach me on…


Directly contacting hiring managers, recruiters and industry contacts is an approach that is much more likely to yield you results in your job search.

If you want to get your job search going in the right direction, and would like help in making an excellent first impression, check out my Job Search Toolkit today.