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Thursday, January 29, 2015

How To Write A Professional Email

As kids you were taught to always say "please" and "thank you", to chew with your mouth closed, to look someone in the eye when you are speaking to them, as well as a laundry list of other do's and don'ts that fall under the "Miss Manners" category of proper etiquette.

We now live in a world very different than the one we had when we were kids. This world is filled with technology that we rarely can escape. The payphone has turned into the cell phone, the days of going to the library to check out a book are now replaced with scrolling through your Kindle to find the top 25 best sellers, and letter writing is a thing of the past. The world we live in today also consists of thousands of emails that we send each day, month and year. These emails are vital in our communication with the outside world, and if done properly can help us to excel in our futures.

Writing a professional email is something you frequently have to do, but few actually know how to do. Here are some tips for making your emails to your boss, your professor, or even to your family and friends more professional.

Tip #1: Make it readable. Although there are a zillion fonts one can choose from, the professional email is not the time to test it out and see what looks "artsy" and "cute." Stick with a font that is easily legible such as Times New Roman or Arial. These fonts allow the reader to quickly move through what you are saying and not get distracted or frustrated.

Tip #2: Remember that texting and emailing are NOT the same thing. When writing a professional email refrain from using jargon such as BRB, LOL, IDK or HAHA. An email should sound eloquent and precise. Read your email out loud to yourself and if it sounds at all immature, silly or condescending then DON'T send it. A professional email should be something you would be proud enough to read out loud to an entire room of people and not feel at all embarrassed.

Tip #3: Re-read. Re-read. And re-read AGAIN. Whenever you send something, whether it be an email, a text, a blog post, or even a Facebook comment you should always re-read what you have said to make sure there are no spelling errors. There is nothing worse than getting a nice email and going through it, only to find out that the person who sent it did not care enough to take the time to go over what they had written.

Tip #4: Professional emails are like a mini skirt. They should be short enough to grab your attention, but long enough to cover all the important parts. Don't waste your time or the time of the person whom your sending the email to. Say what is necessary and in a timely fashion, but then move on.

Tip #5: Be positive, never gossip, and always end with a "best" or a "thank you for your time." Emails are not a time to vent about your life's struggles or chatter about meaningless gossip. A professional email should always remain upbeat and if you are sending it to a professor, a colleague or a potential new boss you should remember to thank them for their time, and reiterate your appreciation. Emails can leave a lasting impression on people and can determine your future. Leave your mark!

Hopefully these tips were helpful in showing the importance of a professional email! 

As always, thanks for reading! 

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