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How to Send a Professional Email

In high school, I would only check my email once a week, but after two years of college, I am now constantly checking it which also leads to me writing way more emails than I used to. There is a certain etiquette that belongs in professional emails – here are some of my tips.

1. Subject Line

Your subject line should be super simple but also get the point across for the purpose of the email. Try using something like “thank you,” or if you’re sending an email to a professor, try putting the class name and section number so your professor can find your name quicker in their database of students.

2. Greeting

The greeting to an email can be very tricky depending on the person you are sending it to. If I am writing to a single person, I usually start with “Dear” and then the person’s title. For example, if I was emailing my professor I would start with “Dear Professor (last name).” If you know the person well, it is also okay to use a greeting like “Dear (first name).” But every once in a while, if I am emailing an address where I don’t know who runs it (just like an info@companys.name) I usually say “good morning” or “to whom it may concern,” so I do not run into any typos with names.

3. Length

You should try to keep the length of your email to just the necessary information. If your email is super long some people tend to not read it all.

4. Body

I always include a “thank you” in some part of my email. I either start with a “thanks for getting back to me” or “thank you for your consideration” at the end. Putting in a statement of thanks will make you seem polite, which is what a company will want to see. If you are asking something of someone it will make them more likely to do it. If I am the first to send an email, I also usually say “I look forward to hearing from you” just to make it seem more polite and that I am actually interested in their response.

5. Spelling and grammar

Your email should contain NO spelling or grammar mistakes, especially if you are emailing a company about a job. If you have typos you will seem unprofessional, which can turn a company off.

6. Closing

The best way, in my opinion, to end a professional email is to close it with “Best,” or “Thank you,” followed by your name. These are both very good terms that will make you seem more professional. I also have a signature set up so every email has my name, university and graduating year, as well as my phone number. Most companies also use this, so having a personal one will be impressive to companies.

 

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Allie Driscoll

Illinois '21

My name is Allie! I'm a sophomore at the University of Illinois majoring in Marketing and Information Systems!
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