Writing a good email at work is harder than it seems. Writing to your desk mate about when you’re getting lunch is one thing, but writing an email to your boss or another important stakeholder can be daunting and if you get it wrong, can have serious consequences.
Here are five do’s and don’ts about how to write a professional email so you can ace your way through you work day.
Round up the main point of your email in the opening sentence.
State the purpose of your email then flesh out the details.
Keep language professional.
Don’t use slang. Instead of saying “can I have that information?”, instead try “would it be possible to request a copy of the relevant information?”
Check Spelling and Grammar.
If necessary, ask a friend or colleague to proof read before you send the email.
Don’t forget to use please, thank you and correct titles. If in doubt, use sir/madam.
Thank the recipient.
Depending on the situation, you can thank them for contacting you, for their reply or thank them in advance for their time.
Don’t use smiley faces.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but if you don’t know the person then don’t use them. Try and use an exclamation mark instead.
Don’t use colloquialisms.
Saying “G’day” and “Cheers” might seem like a nice way to start and end an email but it is definitely not professional.
Don’t use all capital or all small case in your email.
The only exception is when referring to a known acronym or term that is familiar to the reader.
Don’t forget paragraphs.
Ensure that the email is broken up into paragraphs and not written as an essay.
Don’t forget to close the email correctly.
“Best regards”, “Sincerely”, and “Thank you” are all good options. Don’t use “Best wishes” or “Cheers” unless you are good friends with the reader.
Need some more help with writing a professional email? Download a FREE printable check list that you can hang up in your office with a BONUS tip!