In high school and college, you’ll likely be in contact with teachers, professors, employers, and more through email. It’s important to know how to send an appropriate, professional email that doesn’t make the reader cringe. Here are 6 tips to help you communicate like a pro:
Use an Appropriate Email Address
“[email protected]”…Wait, what? No professional wants to receive an email from an address like that. First, they could think it’s a spam account. Second, it can set a tone of immaturity. And third, some teachers or professors may not even be able to access emails that are not sent from a school email account. While it might not seem like it, your email address is branding who you are. A great option is to make a generic email account using your name. By doing this, you are making an account that doesn’t look spammy, and “reserving” your name for the account. Try something like [email protected], [email protected], or [email protected] You can even use initials depending on the availability of that email address — [email protected]
Include a Subject
The subject of an email is what immediately catches their eye while it’s sitting in the inbox. You don’t want (or need) to have a long subject. Just use the main point of what the email is about, so the reader knows what to expect when opening the email. Keeping it short and sweet is what draws people in!
Keep it Brief
No one wants to read a super long email. And not many people have time to read them. Obviously you’ll want to include all relevant information in the email, but you don’t want to get too wordy. Avoid repeating yourself, and be sure that you stay on topic to successfully write that email! Brevity is especially important if it’s the first correspondence you have with that contact. If you need to get more into detail, save it for the second email.
Be Thorough and Coherent
I know this might sound a bit ridiculous after the previous tip, but this part is also important. If you have a specific question for the person you are emailing- include it. Don’t jump around the topic without actually getting to the important part. Consider using bullet points to help keep the main ideas/messages of the email clear and concise. If you only include the relevant information, you’ll be able to keep the email at a decent length.
Don’t Use Abbreviations
Emailing someone is a lot different than texting your best friend. You shouldn’t be using abbreviations, emojis, or other chat-speak in your emails. You can’t be certain that the person you are emailing will understand certain abbreviations, and in that case, it’s best not to use them.
This might be the most important thing you can do when writing a professional email. I tend to skim my email as I write it, and then go back (before sending it) and read it again once or twice through. It shouldn’t take very long to proofread if you’ve kept the email brief, and it can make a huge difference if you catch a silly mistake. It can also help to read the email out loud to make sure it flows well.
Put these skills to work as you email College Admissions Counselors and professors! Practicing sending emails early on will make you a pro by the time you’re sending them daily, and can help you stand out among others who do not utilize these tips.
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