Professional Email 101: Tips and Tricks for Emailing Like a Boss

Are you one of many who struggle with compiling a professional email, whether it is to a company contact, a professor, or even your supervisor? You are not alone. With social media and correspondence at your fingertips, writing an email in a professional tone of voice can be tricky. Read on for some helpful tips and tricks for writing a professional email.

Subject matters: Writing your subject line is the first thing someone will read when receiving your email. This is a crucial component of any professional email. Use this line to summarize why you are emailing that individual. You can say something like “Embry-Riddle Student Interested in Summer Internship,” or “Met you at Embry-Riddle Fall Industry/Career Expo.” This first shows the employer what you are emailing about, and it reminds them where they may have met you in the past. Be clear and concise with your subject line as well as descriptive.

Start with a Salutation: When writing to a professional contact it is a rule of thumb to start with a salutation of some sort. If you know the individuals name and their correct honorific or prefix you can use that as a greeting. For instance, if you are emailing a professor you can say “Dear Dr. Gonzales” or “Dear Ms. Gordon.” If you are emailing an employer but do not know their honorific or prefix you can say “Dear John Smith” or “Dear Mx. Thomas.” That way you are not misgendering someone or offending them by not using the correct prefix. Sometimes you are emailing a generic contact email for a company. In that case the best practice is to say, “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Selection Committee.” This way you are more professional than just saying, “To Whom it May Concern.”

In your first paragraph, make sure you are including information on why you are writing to this individual. Be clear and direct – if you are applying for a job, mention that job. If you are following-up after a networking event or interview, mention the dates and what you interviewed for or where you met that person.

In the next section describe what you have to offer the employer or what assistance you are seeking. If you interviewed or connected during a networking event, it is good to state something specific you discussed so they remember you and the conversation you had together. Be clear on your interests in the job or in getting more information on the company or industry.

In the final paragraph, conclude the email by thanking the employer for considering you for the position or for the connection. Thank them for giving you the opportunity to speak more about your experiences or interest in the field.

Finally, you want to close out the email with Sincerely, and your name. This is a great way to end an email in a professional manner. Then at the bottom of the email, include a signature section with your First and Last Name, your email address, and a phone number. You can also choose to include your LinkedIn URL or a professional website URL to showcase your work.

The Career Services Office hopes that you found these tips and tricks for writing a professional email helpful. Remember to visit the office and speak with your program manager for more assistance. We are always happy to proofread your emails and give your specific feedback on your writing.