Email correspondence is a primary form of communication between professionals today; with its easy accessibility and comfortable approach many businesses perform the majority of their transactions through the internet, but with this handy little tool comes great responsibility. Unlike texting sending an email requires a certain amount of professional appearance, you can’t just throw in a ‘what’s up?’ with a smiley face at the beginning expecting to break the ice, oh no siree, writing an email may seem like the easy option rather than having an actual conversation but there are unspoken rules and regulations to follow before you hit that almighty ‘send’ button.
The Standard Format
This is the easiest part.
Start your email with ‘Dear’ and, depending on your level of relationship with the recipient you should address the email accordingly. If you do not know the person then you should address it to ‘Sir/Madam’, you’d be surprised to hear of the amount of emails we received addressed purely to ‘Sir’ which immediately sets our working world back a few decades. Alternatively, you should address your recipient either by their surname: ‘Mr/Ms So-and-so’.
Follow up with your main reason for the email and sign off with either ‘yours sincerely’ ‘Kind regards’ or something equally polite and professional. ‘Laters’, ‘see ya’ or anything of that effect is a big, fat no, no.
Cut the slang back.
Right back, in fact.
Keep your Lols, Rofls and OMGs to text messages because they really are not professional enough for an email and the same goes for shortening of words: ‘cause’ for ‘because’, ‘init’ for ‘isn’t it’ and so on.
We receive hundreds of emails on a daily basis and there is a great difference between those searching for work and those already in work and let me tell you, the way in which you introduce yourself will create a huge first impression. If you are writing a cover letter, keep it to less than a page long, three paragraphs would suffice and ensure you remain polite! Alternatively, try not to cut straight to the chase. We already know you want a job so ‘Put me forward for this role please.’ Is unlikely to sway our minds when we have a set procedure to follow.
If your email is a complaint, be aware of how you are addressing the issue. Rude, aggressive, abrupt language isn’t going to help your case and could make the situation worse. Try to remember that the recipient of the email will not necessarily be the direct source of your problem.
Liaising with a Client.
Whether you are contacting the Receptionist or the Director, remember your manners. Stick to the standard formula and keep the conversation strictly professional – even if you know them well!
At Burton, Bolton and Rose we use email for a wide variety of reasons, from advertising and marketing to confirmations of job offers. We’ve experienced the wrath of an angry individual and have read some of the most professional cover letters around. We’ve compiled some examples of what we would consider good and bad emails, let us know what you think!