The first point of communication these days is via email. Whether you are writing to your
professors, applying for a job, or onboarding somebody for their services, an email is the way
to go about it. Most people dread typing them out but we are here to ensure that your job gets
done with these simple steps to follow while writing your next professional email:
1. The Subject Line
The first thing a person reads in your email is the Subject Line. It is important to keep it clear,
concise, but most importantly to ensure that it doesn’t look like spam mail. Although it’s
presentable to use Title Case for the subject line, avoid all caps and overuse of punctuation.
It should summarise what the mail entails but avoid making it too long. Subject Lines make it
easier for the recipient to sort the emails, hence never leave the subject line blank. Various
filters identify a blank subject line as spam and blocks the mail.
Emails are usually ignored because of the lack of effort evident in the Subject Line. Try
giving the recipient all the information they need. For example, if applying for a job, mention
your name and the position you are applying for (Rishleen Bajaj- Application for Writer’s
Position). These ease the recipients work by preparing them for what they should expect in
the contents of the email.
2. The Greeting
A proper greeting is very important. Some people send out emails without any form of
greeting which leads to the email not being read by the recipient. This is important especially
since it’s hard to determine who the email is addressed to with CCing and “Reply to All”
functions. Another thing to consider is that this will be part of the preview line of the email
after the subject line. It should be short and addressed neutrally. Keep in mind that not every
person of authority will be a ‘sir’. Nothing can be more putting off than receiving wrongly
addressed mail. Be specific and avoid the school-learnt “To Whom It May Concern”.
3. Body Text
The thumb rule of a professional email is to write only what is essential. Avoid exceeding a
paragraph or two, as the chances of someone reading beyond that are low. Be straightforward.
Say who you are, your affiliation and what you want all in the same sentence. Keep any
background information short and relevant to the conversation or request. People at
authoritative positions receive several emails and will definitely not have time for extensive text.
If you’re talking about certain files or websites that the recipient needs to access, attach the
files or insert the links for them to find. When it comes to inserting links, try to convert text
into a link, rather than just pasting the whole link in the email. For example, Click Here to
access my portfolio. It makes things easier to read.
Use simple English. Do not come across as a technical document. Simple words are easy on
the eyes and people register them faster. Be authentic and realistic — you will come off as
more approachable by being yourself. The most important aspect of the email is to make sure
the other person knows what you’re saying.
4. Closing statement
A statement of action at the end of an email is extremely vital if you are expecting a response.
The most important thing to do before you finish your email is to make clear exactly what
kind of response or action you need taken. For example, you can end a job application email
by saying “Awaiting a positive response at your earliest convenience”.
5. The Font
Another tip on how to write a professional email is to remember that font matters. Color,
style, size, and layout are all crucial. Imagine opening an email where it looks like it’s on fire,
the font colour is red and the background colour is orange — would you continue reading it
or close it immediately and never look back? Pick One format, font and font size.
Recommendations for the most professional fonts:
● Times New Roman or Arial (avoid Comic Sans or any such non-serif fonts)
● Black text
● White background
● 12 point font size
● Avoid Indents
Keep the recipients minimal and only to who it’s required, otherwise, it might get missed. Be
careful about who you add as CC to the email or you will be reducing your chances of
receiving a reply.
Make sure you have something more than just your name in your email signature. An email
signature is important to have, with your name and the position you hold within the entity
you’re sending this email for so that the recipient knows exactly who is addressing them.
Such as your name, number, email, title, and website.
+91 983XX XXX50
Butterfly Design Studio
Not only does it look formidable, but it’s also useful to the person you’re emailing. It allows
people to learn more about you without googling, and if they want other ways to contact you,
they can find it there. If you are expecting a response, make sure to leave your phone number.
Aside from basic contact information, avoid making your signature too long (it doesn’t need
to be more than three or four lines) or showy.
8. Check Your Grammar
The most important element to keep in mind while any kind of writing is to keep your
grammar in check. Nobody has the time or wants to put an effort to sift through grammatical
errors, especially easy ones like “your” and “you’re.” Double-check everything. You can also
download spell-check or grammar checking software onto your browser to save time!
9. Use a Professional Email Address
Don’t use acronyms like [email protected] for professional emails. Create a new one
using your name only as an immature email address will not be taken seriously.
The first impression via email is never easy because your tone and word usage can make or
break a relationship. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll write amazing email every time!