One of the most important skills a person should have is the ability to write a professional email. A professional email is written regarding inquiries, employment, or contacting someone you haven’t met yet. Professional emails leave good impressions on the recipient so it’s important that you know how to write one.
Professional Email Guideline
- Put something in the subject – Do not leave your emails to have no subject. Likewise, do not put your entire email in the subject. Give it a title or at least say what the email is about. For example, if you’re emailing your resume or job application you can put “[Job Title] Application – [Name].”
Sometimes the organization will be transparent about what they want in the subject line. This is to test your reading comprehension and attention to detail. If you can’t follow something as simple as this, they will simply disregard your email.
- Use a proper greeting – Address who you’re sending the email to. If you don’t have a name, at least start with a “Greetings” or “Good afternoon” because it makes such a difference.
- Introduction – Don’t just jump right to your question. Take time to introduce yourself. You’ve never met this person before, so the last thing you want is to appear arrogant. You would want to introduce yourself first, or let them know the reason why you are writing to them.
- Have a main point – Don’t leave the recipient guessing what you want. Be sure to request or ask a question, otherwise the recipient won’t have any idea what to do with it.
- Do not leave the message blank – Even if you’re sending an attachment, you still have to add a message. Say something like “Please see the file I’ve attached below.”
- Do not be too wordy – Keep your email short and sweet. The recipient does not want to read a ten page essay. Stick to the point and keep your purpose clear.
- Have a proper close off – Thank the person you’re emailing for their time. Tell them that you’re looking forward to hearing back from them. Then sign with your name. “Best regards” and then your name is commonly used and widely accepted as formal.
- Do not use slang – This isn’t a text that you’re sending to your best friend. Use appropriate language when you write professional emails. This includes proper punctuation and capitalization, not using emojis, and no shortening of words.
- Re-read and edit the email – Read it through a few times. Look for any spelling or grammar errors. See if you get your main point across.
When to Send a Professional Email
You can expect to send a professional email practically any time you’re emailing someone. Emails are hardly on a friendly basis. Even emails between co-workers use a professional tone. If you’re unsure, it’s best to be professional nonetheless. Here are some instances where you’ll definitely need to be professional:
- Regarding a job opening
- An inquiry to an organization
- Asking questions to immigration consultants
- Emails to professors or teachers
- Follow up emails to employers
For reference, here is a screenshot of a professional email.
This is just a simple example, but it follows the professional tone that is expected for these kinds of emails.
Once you get the hang of writing professional emails, you will stand out more and your questions and comments won’t be ignored. Your messages and questions matter, but you have to prove it. You can do that by formatting and rewording it properly.