As a college student, sending professional emails often feels stiff and awkward. Emails are like a stuffy version of a text. But I spend a few hours a week pretending to be an adult and that involves sending lots and lots of emails. These nine steps are tried and true. I repeat these steps daily. To my peers, here you go, a proven guide to pretending to be an adult. You are welcome. To potential employers, see how professional I am? Exuding a professional persona is one of my many marketable skills.
- Use an appropriate email account. No one is going to take email@example.com seriously. If you can, use a .edu or employer email address. If you can’t, use a gmail account. firstname.lastname@example.org has some professional credit.
- Make sure you know to whom you are reaching out. Do you have the correct email address? Do they have a professional title, such as professor or Dr.?
- The intro of the email should be “Hi, Dr. Whoever.” Using an intro shows you are polite and using their name and title shows you know who you are contacting. This intro makes you seem nice and thorough.
- Next, you need to explain who you are and why you are contacting them. Tell them why they should care about your email. “ My name is Brandi Dye and I am an assistant at Midwest Living magazine, looking to verify some information.” This explains who I am and what I need.
- Make the ask. You have told them what you need, now ask them for that. “Could you email or call me back so we can discuss the information you gave in your interview?”
- Whoever you contact needs to have the information to contact you. Although they obviously will have your email address, it does not hurt to include it: “I can be reached via email at email@example.com and by phone at 000-000-0000.”
- Say thanks. Manners matter.
- Proof read and spell check. Errors are not professional.
- Have an official-seeming email signature. Include your name (duh), your position, your company and your email address and phone number.
Hi, Dr. Whoever.
My name is Brandi Dye and I am an assistant at Midwest Living magazine, looking to verify some information regarding your interview on buffalo herds. Could you email or call me back so we can discuss the information you gave in your interview? I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone at 000-000-0000.
Editorial Assistant | Midwest Living
email@example.com | 000-000-0000