In a few short weeks many of us will be starting brand new internships and that amazing internship will likely come with an email address too. The right way to send email may seem obvious but there are little things that can trip you up. As an intern you have a requirement to always be professional and the multiple emails you will send every day are included in that requirement. Sure, the colorful emails from your sorority threads and the cute emoticons between you and your long-distance best friend are super fun but for work place email, there’s a little more to think about!
Do: Make one point per email.
Think about how many times a day you skim over long emails and remember that when you are typing out an email to someone!
So, keep it short and sweet ladies! If you find you have to write more than 4-5 sentences (and even that is pushing it!) then briefly explain the topic you’re getting in touch about and request a phone conversation. If they are in the same office as you, stop by their desk or office.
There are some situations where longer emails are fine (i.e. the person has asked you to communicate with them through email) but if you are asking a slew of questions or trying to explain a complicated situation then phone calls or personal interactions are likely your best bet for clarity.
Tip: Make sure the topic in your subject line is relevant and keep it to 1-3 words. Don’t reply to an email and keep the subject a topic that was discussed 2 weeks ago – you want to be searchable and accessible!
Do: Be mindful of your tone.
We all have our bad days. You’re tired, frustrated, dealing with life drama. It happens. Just don’t let your ‘tude and mood creep into your email tone. Sarcasm is not attractive or professional and more importantly, many times it is lost in translation and comes off rude.
If the person you are emailing is the reason for your bad day, take a step back and a deep breath, especially if they are your boss or co-worker. Draft an email and ask a separate party to read it – a friend, or a family member. Not an option? Then keep it as brief as possible and imagine what you would want to read if you were on the receiving end. Respect should trump other emotions in this situation.