The Dos and Don’ts of Writing Professional Emails

By Zoe Taylor

Just like an outgoing voicemail messagethe way you write an email (and your email address for that matter) says a lot about you and your level of professionalism. It’s just as important to compose your emails in a highly professional manner, and that your email address is appropriate. I_Rock_Your_Sox_916@mail.com just won’t cut it in the land of work!

We’ve got some dos and don’ts to help you determine what you may be doing either right or wrong when it comes to emailing, and we’re hoping you can use these tips to write stellar emails and potentially secure that dream job!

Do

  • Use a specific subject line, such as ‘Application for the Project Manager Position’
  • Open with ‘Hi/Dear (Name)’. If you’ve never contacted this person before, address them as ‘Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms (Surname)’.
  • Start the actual body of the email with the exact reason you are contacting them.
  • Keep it short and sweet, and be polite! A simple ‘please’ or ‘thank -you’ goes a long way.
  • Of you’re including an attachment, explain what it is. You can also briefly explain why you’re including the attachment.
  • Sign off in a warm, positive and informative way. Put the word ‘warm’ or ‘kind’ before the word ‘regards’, and on the next line include your name, followed by your best contact details.
  • Try to reply to emails soon after you receive them. If the email requires a bit more effort or a certain attachment and you don’t have time as soon as you receive the email, quickly reply explaining the delay and stating that you’ll get onto their request as soon as possible.
  • Have a professional email address without too much punctuation or numbers.If you like your fun email address, keep that for family and friend interactions only. Create a new one for all other emails, such as to potential employers or University admin. For example, smith.john@mail.com is a great professional email address.
  • Do a spelling and grammar check of all emails before you send them!

Example of a professional email
Subject: Application for the Project Manager Position

Dear Ms Smith,

I am writing to apply for the Project Manager position advertised on your website.

Attached is my resume and cover letter for your reference.

Warm Regards,
John Appleseed
+61 123 456 789
jappleseed@mail.com

Don’t

  • Open with informal greetings such as ‘hey’ or ‘sup’.
  • Write long winded emails that include unnecessary details.
  • Swear or use any other inappropriate language.
  • Use ‘SMS language’, i.e. LOL, SOZ, PLZ, etc.
  • Use smileys/emoticons
  • Type in all capital letters (or all lower case for that matter)
  • Use a vague subject line, such as ‘Important!’ or ‘Stuff’

Example of an unprofessional email
Subject: Job

Sup mate.

I was on your website just checking out a few things and I saw that you’re hiring and I thought, hey! Why not? 🙂

So I’m writing this email to apply for the position mentioned on your site. I think it would be really cool to work at your company and hopefully after you read my resume and cover letter and all that then you’ll want to maybe chat and see if I’m right for the job.

So yeah, like check my stuff out and yeah get back to me soon!

Thanks man.
j0hnny_app13_s33d_iz@mail.com

Taking into consideration all the dos and don’ts we’ve supplied here, you should be able to put together a highly professional email that will impress potential employers.

For help in finding the right career path for you, or for useful tips on areas including studying and finding success, call 1800 143 080 or visit www2.collegesonline.com.au/mycareer to contact one of our friendly career advisors!

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