We hope you all enjoyed your spring break! With all the midterms we know everyone was in need of one.
But let’s not put this time to waste.
Not only is it midterm time, its also recruiting season for many companies and businesses. Whether it’s for tomorrow or for summer, internship and job positions are waiting to be filled. But before you get the job, you have to make sure you have everything.
You have your future employers application, your resume, and your attire for the interview. But before all that, chances are you have to email someone, be it Human Resources, a recruiter, or your potential boss themselves. And I think we can all agree that writing an email to any of these people can be very stressful.
We’re here to make the process much easier by giving you 15 easy tips to writing the perfect professional email.
1. Subject Line: Make it Quick
Picking the write subject line can make or break your email. Your subject line can easily make your receiver not even want to open your email at all. You should choose something that lets the reader know you are addressing something in your email that they are interested about. For example, “Meeting date changed” and “Quick question about your presentation” are some examples of clear cut subject lines that will make your recipient open them in a heart beat. And never send an email with an empty subject line!
2. Professional email address
This tip is very straight forward. If you work at a company, you can use your company email address. If your personal email address consists of your first and last name, (a.k.a. no nicknames whatsoever) you may use your personal email. And if you don’t have either, as a student in college you are automatically given a student email which you are allowed to use. Whatever it is you use, make sure it contains your name, and nothing more. But whatever you do, don’t use that crazy email you created when you were in elementary or middle school. And don’t act like you don’t know what we’re talking about, we all had one.
3. Hello fellow reader,
As much as we’re used to saying “Hey” or “What’s up” without giving it a second thought, that is no way to start off on email to a company recruiter or your boss. While “Hey” portrays a relaxed nature and tone, it is extremely informal and should not be used outside your circle of friends. Instead, use “Hi” or “Hello.”
And if you plan an addressing the recipient by name, make sure not to shorten it on your own account or give them your own nickname. Use their complete first name.
4. “Reply All”?
Before clicking the first reply you see, consider what you will be writing in your email. If what you have to say only concerns the sender, there is no need to send an irrelevant email to another 20 people. Plenty of work emails are not sent one person at a time, so unless you feel like everyone should know what you have to say, make sure you are replying only to those that should receive a reply.
5. Exclamation points!!!
No matter how excited you may be about sending an email make sure not to use more than one exclamation point. People can get carried away sometimes and put one too many exclamation points throughout their email, or even one after the other. Too many exclamation points will show too much emotion and immaturity.
6. No colored text
Refrain from using multiple font colors in your email. Not only will it most likely be unnecessary, but it will make your email hard to read when there’s an array of colors jumping at your from the screen. When writing a business email it is also very unprofessional and can lead your email to be misinterpreted.
7. NO CAPS
Whenever we’ve wanted to show our frustration in a text to a friend, we’ve probably written in all caps so they know we’re mentally yelling at them. We may have also used caps when showing our excitement or joy for something. The same concept is applied in emails. Except there’s no reason for you to be screaming at the recipient of your email, so there is no reason, or excuse, to use all caps.
While some of our co-workers or bosses may get on our nerves sometimes, that’s no reason to send them on email in all caps. Have a reasonable conversation with them in person instead.
8. don’t use lower case everywhere either
While you may not purposely write everything in lower case, something as simple as a missed lower case “I” will mess up your email. Using all lower case or accidentally forgetting to capitalize certain things gives the perception of lack of education or plain laziness.
Everyone loves a good laugh, but a joke in person may not transition the same in writing. Something is funny because of the tone, the facial expressions, the gestures, none of which can be shown through an email, which may leave your recipient confused rather than amused. Your sense of humor may also differ from someone else’s, so unless your know the other person well, refrain from using humor in your emails.
10. Different culture, different writing
People from other cultures speak and write differently than those from our culture. While an email may be perfectly written by American standards, someone from other countries may view it completely different. The way the email is written varies greatly form country to country.
Tip: High-context cultures (Japanese, Arab, or Chinese) want to get to know you before doing business, which gives their writing a more personal appeal. On the other hand, low-context cultures (German, American, or Scandinavian) prefer to get to the point very quickly.
11. Reply to the email – no matter what
We know it’s a hassle to reply to every email sent to us, especially since most of you probably don’t event read all of them in the first place. Even if it takes up a few minutes of your time, make sure you reply to your email. Making sure you reply to emails can be compared to talking to someone if they talk to you first. You don’t just pretend you didn’t hear them, you answer back.
This tip also includes replying to emails that may have accidentally been sent to you. Since it wasn’t originally addressed to you, you don’t reply in regards to the content, but simply explaining that the email was sent to the wrong person. Chances are the sender doesn’t even know they sent it to the wrong person.
12. Proofread your
The simplest mistakes may pass you by when writing an email, especially if your in a hurry or stressed. But believe us, the recipient will notice. While not all recipient will hold it against you, better be safe than sorry and make sure everything is written correctly. And this does not mean use spell-check. Sometimes a word will be written correctly, but it may not be the word you want to use. This word will go undetected by the spell-checker, because while your sentence doesn’t make sense, the word is spelled correctly. Read, and re-read, always.
13. Add the email address last
There is nothing worse than accidentally sending an email in the middle of a sentence. By adding the email address last you can make sure you proofread and finish writing your email in peace without a chance of sending it. Even when replying to emails, you can momentarily delete the recipient address, then later add it again after you’ve completed your reply.
14. Check the recipient address (more than once)
This may seem like the simplest tip on this list, but different emails can easily be mixed up. Especially when typing from your phone, a different letter or number can change the whole address. This will save both you and the wrong recipient the embarrassment of a lost email.
15. Signing off, AMA at FIU
Always properly sign off your emails. A quick way to decide what to write is paying attention to the sign off of past emails from professionals or co-workers. If you have no idea how to sign off, among the business world, “Best” and “Best wishes” is standard. The safest and most formal option is “Sincerely.”
You can also end your email by briefly thanking the individual for their time.
Hopefully these tips will get rid of all your email-writing struggles. But if you’d like some more tips, you can find them here.
We hope you all continue to have an AMAzing day! Have fun and be safe!