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How to: Deliver Effective and Professional Emails

A handy guide for a lasting first impression via email

Formal email writing is usually the first skill many business professionals will need to know in order to be an effective communicator to land a job, get promoted, and build an influential network. Unfortunately, not many people know how to deliver strong and enticing emails to land a great first impression. These tips will help you overcome these challenges, and gain a competitive edge in the workforce.

Basic email etiquette:

  1. Use a basic email address – When you create an email address, make sure it is professional and easy to understand. It is recommended to use your first name, last name, and an email address like Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail, such as Avoid something like
  2. Include a greeting – It is a good idea to start with a greeting such as “Dear Mr. Smith” or “Good morning Ms. Clarke”. You should also add a closing line like “Thank you” or “Best Regards”, then your full name. A proper greeting will add a sincere and direct message to your recipient.
  3. Be clear and concise in your subject line and body – Include a relevant subject line to your email. Is there a job order number with a job posting that you found? Are there certain key points you want to include which will make the subject line pop? Use the valuable space in the subject line to bring a direct and clear meaning to your message. First impressions are key! When you are crafting an email, provide enough detail in the body so the recipient understands it.
  4. Check your tone – Who are you talking to? Are you talking to a prospective hiring manager? Your audience matters immensely! Be courteous and professional even if the person is not the direct hiring manager.
  5. Review before sending – Make sure to double check your message to make sure it does not have any spelling or grammatical errors, and, if possible, have someone proofread it as well.
  6. Use a signature – A good signature consists of your full name, email address, and phone number. You can use colorful designs to make your signature stand out if you are representing a brand.

Whether you are using email at work or applying for a job, the normal rules of email etiquette still apply. However, there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind, as business emails can affect your professional reputation.

First impressions make all the difference, and there is no better example of this than a crucial understanding of how to write effective emails to your professional contacts. One important tip to remember is that emails are not texts. They may be more informal than a business letter, but they should be approached in a more professional manner.

“It is your attitude, more than your aptitude, that will determine your altitude.” - Zig Zeigler

Written by: Steven Heinitz, Career Consultant, TANF

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