Professional Email Etiquette

Great communication skills are critical for any career, so it’s important that you express yourself in the clearest, most professional way possible. When it comes to job hunting, every instance of communication with a potential employer is extremely important. Even something as simple as a poorly written email could result in you losing out on an opportunity. Here are a few simple tips to help you write stronger, more articulate emails:

Keep it simple: Hiring managers have to go through hundreds of emails a day from potential candidates so don’t take up any more of their time than you have to.

  • Get to the purpose of your email as quickly as possible!
  • Example: If you are inquiring about the status of a position, you don’t need to explain why you’re interested in the position, etc. Simply ask if the job is still available, and provide contact information so they can reach you.

Keep it professional: Remember that you are building a professional relationship, not a personal one.

  • Emoticons are cute, but not appropriate to send potential employers. Keep the J’s for your friends.
  • Make sure your email address is appropriate and mature. For example, try creating an email address with your name in it instead of cute alternatives like “SoccerStud56” or “LadyBug33.”

Keep it appreciative: Proper business correspondence etiquette states that you should use some form of thanks in the first sentence of any email.

  • Follow-up emails after interviews are an important way to cement the connection you made. Make sure to thank your potential employer for their time and consideration.
  • If a potential employer responds to an email inquiry, it is polite to thank them for their prompt response.

Check it often: When on the job hunt, it is important to check your emails at least once a day.

  • Missing an interview request via email could result in you missing out on an opportunity. If you don’t respond quickly enough, they will find someone else who will!

Spell-check it: Bad grammar and punctuation are sure to turn away any prospective employers.

  • Make sure to review the content of an email at least twice before hitting send.
  • Forgetting to create a message subject that clearly reflects the content of your email is another easily corrected mistake. Leaving it as “No Subject” is a definite turn off for employers looking through full inboxes.

Keep these tips handy next time you email a prospective employer and you’ll be sure to make a good impression!

WAI Staff

Whitman Associates is a professional staffing agency serving businesses and job seekers in the Washington, D.C. area. Since 1972, we’ve been dedicated to matching highly qualified candidates with a wide variety of temporary, temp-to-hire and permanent positions. We prioritize the needs of both our clients and candidates to ensure successful, lasting relationships.