There are many genres that a writer could work in on any given day. But there is one task that almost every writer (or really, almost any professional) faces in their day to day.
Email. It’s a seemingly straightforward task… yet somehow it can be so nerve-wracking in a professional setting. Many people never receive any instruction in how to craft a professional email, so here are some quick tips:
- Sound like a human being. It seems obvious, but if you’re not careful you can sound like one of those pre-recorded telephone messages. Don’t work off a template and fill in blanks.
- Don’t rush. Emails are meant to be concise. That doesn’t mean you can’t use a sentence or two to ease into the main content. This is especially important with an email to a stranger or new acquaintance.
- Be polite. Again, you would think it’s common sense, but it never hurts to add “please” and “thank you” to any requests. Variations on “thank you” can often make great closers.
- Proofread. Gmail has this great feature that allows you to give yourself a buffer after hitting the send button. Those ten seconds can be a lifesaver if you notice a flaw at just the right time. But you can avoid the problem all together by giving each email a quick proofread and edit before pulling the trigger.
Another perspective on writing professional emails can be found at Problogger.