We all know that sending off an email to an important or new person can be daunting. We have all hesitated, hovering over the “send” button at one time or another. There are a few basic “behind the scenes” rules to follow that will automatically up your email game. Read on!
When in doubt, be more formal – When emailing someone you have not communicated with before, err on the side of more professional language. This also goes for communications during your job search. No need to use “thee” and “thou,” but some respectful language (“Dear ___,” “Thank you for your time,” etc.) goes a long way!
“To whom it may concern” – When unsure who or even what team will be reading your email, it is best to use this phrase. Otherwise, address people as specifically as possible. If you know what group of people will be reading your email (e.g., the hiring team, you could address them as a group (e.g., “Dear Hiring Team, . . .”). If you know
Double check their name – The number of times a Lucy has been referred to in an email as “Lily” cannot be counted. Nearly all of us have been the victim of name apathy. It makes the one sending the email look somewhat careless and dismissive. Don’t be that person. When emailing someone, especially outside of your organization, double-check that you are calling them the right name and spelling it correctly. This two-second check can make a big difference.
Cut the fluff – It may be tempting to add some niceties to your email to seem more friendly. Be careful with these! It can come off as ingenuine depending on how you use them. While it may seem nice to start an email to a potential employer or client with “I hope this email finds you well,” we all know (potential employer included) that your purpose for the email is to connect with them about a position or a potential sale. Lead by introducing yourself and why you are emailing them. If it naturally flows, you can add a friendly “Have a great day!” or “I hope you are well.” at the end of your email.
Don’t get “smart” – Avoid trying to use big words outside of your regular vocabulary to sound more formal or intelligent. Often, it can make you look LESS intelligent if you are using a word or phrase even slightly wrong. Keep it smart, but no need to use English PhD-level words in every email.
Hit that “send” button with confidence! If you want to shoot off a few new emails to potential employers, we have our extensive portal of open positions here.