Responding to email notifications about a job position takes some strategy. When the nuances of personal interaction like voice inflection and nonverbal cues are absent, the sender's original intent can be misconstrued. These misunderstandings are difficult enough in interpersonal relationships, but when they happen in the professional world, it can cost you a job you worked hard to land. Be as simple, specific and brief as possible when corresponding with a potential employer by email.
Initial Response to Your Interest
One common email you may receive from a potential employer is a general response to your inquiry about a job posting. When you find a job online that you want to apply for, you generally send a resume and cover letter. After that, you could receive an email in return stating that the company received your information and is reviewing it. A response to this kind of email is sending back a simple thank you for the update. You can also take this opportunity to tell the company again how excited you are about interviewing for the position and reiterate one of the reasons from your cover letter expressing why you are interested in the role.
Vague Thank You for Interview
If you've already had either a phone or in-person interview with your potential employer, you may receive an email response thanking you for the interview and informing you that the company is still in the process of making a decision. In this case, take the opportunity to sell your attributes again. Thank the interviewer for his time and reiterate something from your interview that makes you stand out among other candidates. For example, if the two of you had a good laugh about your Martha-Stewart-like organizing skills, remind him of these qualities. In addition, if the interviewer is waiting for additional information from you, such a list of references, attach that to this email before you hit send.
The employer may use email to let you know that you landed the job. After you're done celebrating, sit down and send a return email to your new boss thanking him for selecting you for the position. Tell him that you're excited to do a good job for the company and that you can't wait to get started. If the email doesn't include it, ask your new employer what day he would like you to start, where you should park, if you should bring ID with you on your first day or any other questions that come to mind. Use this opportunity to reinforce to your new boss that he chose the right person for the position. Conversely, if you are no longer interested in the position, politely inform the interviewer of your decision.
You could receive a personalized email telling you that you didn't get the job. When you encounter an email like this, take a day so you can distance yourself from the disappointment before you respond. After you've taken some time, thank the employer for considering you for the position. Also include in your email that you are still interested in working for the company, if you are, and you would be happy to interview again should another position open. Even though you didn't get the job this time, you can end the relationship on a positive note.