We live in a society where communication is instant. Text-messages send in milliseconds and responses come just as quick. However, we must establish a distinction between friendly and professional communication, a distinction that is easy to blur. Whether you’re speaking with colleagues, potential employers, or clients, it’s imperative that you come across in a professional manner in your emails.
Whether you believe it or not, every email you send is being looked at through a magnifying glass, especially if you’re sending it to a potential (or current) employer. Whether it’s for grammar, etiquette, or content, someone important is most likely paying close attention to everything you’ve written.
But let’s look at the upside! A well-composed email can make a great impression in the business world. Which is why we compiled these tips and tricks for sending flawless emails every time.
7 Tips for Sending Great Professional Emails:
1. Use a signature – It may seem superfluous at first, but including a signature in your email is actually very important. This signature should include your full name, contact information and any applicable social media links or websites. This not only makes your email more professional, but it makes it a lot easier for people to contact you in a hurry. By the way, make sure to delete the default signature in your mobile email settings and replace it with a custom signature.
2. Use the subject line – Again, this may seem like another unnecessary step, but if you omit the subject, your email is destined to go to the bottom of the recipient’s “unread” pile. If you want a quick response, it’s important to create a sense of urgency via subject line. Without including the words “VERY IMPORTANT,” try to create your subject line in a manner that will make the recipient eager to open the email, or something relevant to the potential job or item at hand.
3. Actually respond – In the world of text messaging, it’s often acceptable to read a message and choose not to respond. However, this is not the case for email. You should always respond to an email within the same day; if you cannot solve the problem or answer the question at hand that quickly, respond to let the other person know you’ve received their message and are working on a response. They’ll appreciate the update.
4. Use bullet points – Concise emails that get to the point clearly and quickly are always the easiest to comprehend and respond to. Organizing your thoughts with bullet points instead of lengthy paragraphs makes your train of thought easier to follow and your main ideas and or requests easy to identify.
5. Always thank the recipient when necessary – Have they set up an interview with you? Expressed interest in you and your application? Simply responded quickly? All reasons for a “thank-you.” It’s important to come off as amiable in your emails – just as important as it is to be kind in person – so always pay attention to your tone and expressions of gratitude.
6. Know when (and when not to) send an email – Email is a great tool because it doesn’t require instant response like a phone call, but it also delivers much more quickly than handwritten mail. However, sensitive or extremely important topics may be better communicated in person (or over the phone if necessary), and handwritten thank-you notes are always a bit more special than emails.
7. Proofread – No explanation needed for this one. The rules of proofreading your cover letter and resume apply here as well! Always proofread.
It’s important to remember that more people than you expect may be reading any email you’ve written – so write it with that in mind! It’s always better to come off as “too” professional than too casual, so you can never be too careful in following the tips above.