Professional Guidance Part 1: Email Writing Basics.

Believe it not, composing effective professional emails can help determine the success or downfall in your career. Luckily, the first step to take your inbox from a collection of sale ads to a home for your career-related connections is creating a professional email. In this article, I will explain why creating a designated work email is important and how to structure the content of an email to send to a fellow professional in your field of study. Just like a college degree, composing effective professional emails are a factor that will aid in the success of your professional career.

Why is a professional email address important?

One of the easiest ways to promote yourself as a professional is through your email address. In today’s fast paced world, business etiquette is an essential skill that most companies require of their employees. As a young college student, we must remember that writing an email is different from other forms of communication, such as text messages or Instagram direct messages. Just like text slang, emails have their own rules of etiquette that need to be followed to maintain clear, effective, and professional etiquette. Due to the transition to working from home, communication is more important than ever. For example, email will be more important now for keeping connections with people in your industry. A good professional email can be used to explain why your career interests and the interests of someone you admire align. Communicating in a friendly and professional manner can not only be used to follow-up on job opportunities, but it can also be used to start building a network of people in your field.

It is important to note that professional email writing starts from having a professional email address. Your email address is your professional image. So how do you choose a professional email address?

  • Use a trustworthy domain such as @gmail
  • Do not use @.edu (school) email domains.
  • Leave nicknames out for example: Ladybug2002@gmail.com
  • Exclude numbers (they can easily trigger spam filters which sends your email to junk)

Things to remember when writing an email.

  • Identify your goal: Identifying the goal of your email is vital to staying on topic and writing an effective email with a clear message. To help myself in this situation I ask the question “What do I need to tell you?”
  • Consider your audience: Knowing your audience helps you to make decisions about what information you should include, how you should arrange that information, and what kind of supporting details will be necessary for the reader to understand what you are presenting.
  • Keep it concise: Your entire academic life you have been taught to be very detailed and meet a 1400-word count or so, when writing. This is FALSE for the purposes of writing an email. People do not have time to read long messages. Actually, you have a higher chance of your message not being effectively commutated the longer it is.
  • Proofread your email: Proper spelling and grammar usage are essential in all writing. We make small mistakes all the time. Taking the extra 3 minutes or so to run a spell check will save you embarrassment and make your email top notch.
  • Email organization: Make sure your points/ information flow in some type of order. There are many ways to do this such as writing chronologically, most important to least important, etc. This step will allow your audience to skim your email and get an idea if it is urgent or not.
  • Remember to follow up: Follow-up emails are by far the most important type of email you can send because they are the most effective to getting a response. People receive many emails daily – sometimes they can miss an email or two.

 

How to write a Professional Email.

Email is one of the most widely used forms of communication both in and out of the workplace. Because of its speed and efficiency, you will likely use email in some capacity no matter your role or industry. A well-composed email provides the recipient with a friendly, clear, concise, and actionable message. As outlined in the article by indeed, a formal email is divided into 5 parts: subject line, salutation, body, closing and signature.

 The email outline is as follows:

1.Subject line

This is a short phrase that summarizes the reason for your message or the goal of your communication. It is important to include a subject line when sending a professional email, so your audience knows exactly what to expect and can locate the message easily if needed. For example:

“Follow Up: Product Presentation”

  1. Salutation

This is the first line of your email and generally acts as the greeting. For example:

“Hi Mr. Samson,”

  1. Body

Just like the body of a letter, this is where you will share your full message. For example:

“Thank you for attending the new product presentation this afternoon. I have attached a video file of the full recording so you can share it with your team. Please let me know if you have any questions.”

  1. Closing

This is the last line of your email before your signature and should wrap up your message. This is also where you may reiterate any requests you have made in the body of your message. For example:

“I look forward to speaking with you on Wednesday. Thanks again!”

  1. Signature

The signature is where you identify yourself by name, title, and any other information relevant to your communications. Most email programs allow you to set a fixed signature that is automatically added to the end of every email you send.

“Sincerely,

Jillian Jones

Senior Software Engineer

ABC Company, Inc.”

 

If you follow the above-stated steps in crafting your professional email, no one will question your professionalism.

By Marques McKinney
Marques McKinney Marketing and Analytics Chair Marques McKinney