Tips for Writing Professional Emails

Once the career fair is over, you’ll probably walk out with more business cards than you can count. Whether you get asked to do an interview the next day or not, it is always a good idea to follow up with the companies you were interested in. Doing so will allow you to make connections for future opportunities! Here are some tips and tricks for writing a successful and meaningful professional email:

1. Start with a meaningful subject line

Whether you had a conversation someone or are just sending an email to a person that you hope to make a connection with, make sure to write a meaningful subject line. Remember to keep it short and sweet, but before you write the subject line think about your intentions. The subject line should summarize why you are contacting them. With a stuffed inbox, the subject line can make or break whether the person sends it straight to trash or gives it a read.

2. Address them appropriately

Casual language such as ‘Hey’ may be fine to send to a colleague or friend, but for professional inquiries it is not the best choice. On the other hand, ‘Dear’ is too formal. A simple ‘Hi’ or ‘Hello’ is more appropriate.

3. Keep the email concise and to the point

Although many professionals are excited about inquiring new, talented students into their company, they are also very busy. Especially after a career fair, their inboxes will get crowded with follow-ups. For the best chance that they respond, keep the note short.

4. Make it easy to read

Add indentations or spaces between paragraphs for easy reading and skimming. In addition, keep your most important information to the beginning of each paragraph so they are able to recognize your most important points.

5. Do not use slang

Professional emails require a certain level of formal language. Don’t use slang or emojis. In addition, pick a simple typeface and don’t add too many colors, if any at all.

6. Be kind and thankful

Always remember to be kind and friendly. Remember, they are doing you a big favor. They are typically very busy, and taking time out of their day to talk with students at the career fair or even read and answer an email is nice of them.

7. Be charismatic

Try to stand out. When you write an email, don’t be over dramatic or silly. However, a little wit never hurt anyone. Don’t be afraid to display your personality!

8. Bring up points in your previous conversation

If you had the chance to speak to them at the career fair, try to mention something you talked about that may have been unique. Chances are, the person had a lot of similar conversations with many other kids. Anything you can say that will help them remember you is valuable.

9. Re-read the email

Even when you write quick and short emails, it can easily include mistakes. Small grammatical errors can make or break a professional’s opinion of you. Re-read your email before you send it to avoid any slip-ups.

10. Use an appropriate signature

Two appropriate closers are ‘Best regards’ and ‘Thank you’. Don’t forget to add your name after choosing a closer. Better yet, set an automatic signature so it always appears at the bottom of your emails no matter what.

Follow these simple tips and you’ll be ready to send follow-ups and thank you emails like a pro. Good luck to everyone going to the career fair!

Image credit: SONY PICTURES, Seinfeld

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