What you can learn from the 2012 Presidential Election

I live in a swing state, which means that I am constantly getting emails from both the Obama and Romney campaigns. Political platforms aside, what these emails tend to have in common is this important nugget for job search emails:

They are always exceptionally concise.

More so than law firms, corporations, foundations, or any other entity I know of, political campaign managers use research to dictate their message. This speech from the movie The Adjustment Bureau is not hyperbolic.

So what politicians have learned—and what you should be exceptionally mindful of—is that wordy emails do not get read, and concise emails do. What is more, every communication you have with a hiring authority is a reflection of your judgment, of how you will fit in with that firm or organization, and how much wherewithal you may have in their profession. The vast majority of emails I have seen going from job seekers to hiring authorities are too verbose, and the majority are much too verbose. I have seen a number of students literally lose out on jobs that would have been theirs based on their credentials because they rambled on in email communication. So that this sets in, here is a little catchphrase I just came up with:

When in doubt, always edit out.

Below is an example of a professional email I sent out today—and I got an immediate reply that was even less wordy and a “yes.” Good luck!


Thanks again for responding last week and the suggestion that we might be able to talk on the phone. I do not think our conversation would last more than 10 minutes—just a brief exploration re: if we could possibly help each other with clients. If not, it might last no more than a minute or two. No rush, of course, but if there is a good time(s) for you, let me know, and I am happy to call!