Image courtesy of So you’re in the process of applying to your dream internship and using the Dartmouth Career Network, you find out that a super awesome alum already works for the firm. Perfect!  You draft an email about scheduling a phone interview for the near future.  One day goes by, then two.  Soon it’s been two weeks and your application is due, but you never received a reply to your email.

What went wrong?

According to Baydin, the makers of an online email management site, potentially quite a lot.  The average person with an email account receives 147 emails a day, but can only process 50!  Here are a few tips to make sure your email is read and responded to.

Send your email earlier in the day

Studies show that emails sent at the beginning of the work day are more likely to be read.  You can draft your email later in the day, but wait to send it until the next morning!

Avoid certain keywords

Emails with subject line words such as “confirm,” “join,” and “invite” were less likely to be read, while “apply,” “opportunity,” and “connect” had higher readership. Don’t forget to include “Dartmouth student” in your subject line for best results!

Follow up

If your first email didn’t receive a reply, copy it into the body of a new email and send a short follow-up note to the alumnus you are trying to reach.  If the alumnus had intended to reply but forgot to do so, this extra note may prompt a quick reconciliation.

For more specific tips on what to include in the body of your email and sample language, check out this link on the Career Services website.  Remember, alumni listed on the Dartmouth Career Network are meant to be contacted for general information about their career field and position.  You should include your interests and general skills in your initial email, but do not attach a resume!