JOB BLOG // Email Etiquette
Until our jobs are replaced by robots, writing a good email is a fairly necessary skill. Regardless of the job you end up in, it’s highly likely you will have to send an email or two during your time there. They’re extremely common which means it’s extremely easy to stuff them up.
See below for some really simple tips to professionalise your emails.
Address it to someone
This is something which comes up all the time across the job blog. The person receiving your email will more than likely be a human person (unless you’re emailing a no reply email address in which case you probably shouldn’t do that) so address it to them. Don’t just write “hi”, especially if you’re asking for something. If you don’t know their name – find out.
Say for example, you’re a person not involved in SYN writing to me (Lindsey) pitching a podcast idea. If you don’t know my name, you could either Google “SYN + staff”. This search will bring up the staff page on the SYN website, where you could find relevant names. If you can’t find anything here, try calling the organisation. To use the podcast pitch as another example, you could call the SYN front desk, introduce yourself, explain why you’re calling and ask for the name of the person who is the most relevant for your query.
You would then email me (Lindsey) and say:
My name is Joe Bloggs and I’m a student at…
I’m getting in touch because I…”
“Hi. I want to make a podcast. What should I do?”
Cut to the chase. If you need something – ask it and get it over with quickly. Don’t beat around the bush and give a long backstory if it’s not necessary.
I really want to make a podcast about sticky notes because when I was in year ten at Melbourne Girls School I did work experience at a law firm and I encountered sticky notes for the first time because I was raised in a family that only ever used mobile phones or tablets and I never encountered paper until I did this work experience at the law firm and when I was there I saw sticky notes for the first time and I thought they were really cool and they came in all these different colours and they were really fun to peel off and stick on things and every day of my work experience I would organised the different decks of sticky notes in different patterns to see which colour combinations looked the best and at the end of my work experience week I had to say goodbye to the sticky notes and I’ve never quite recovered and I think about them every day and I’d really like to make a podcast about sticky notes so I can research the history of sticky notes and find out who made them and find out what the adhesive is made out of and how many packets are sold in Australia each year. If you could help me with this sticky note podcast I would really, really appreciate it. Thanks a lot, bye.”
My name is Joe Bloggs and I’m a student at RMIT University.
I’m getting in touch because I want to make a podcast about sticky notes.
I was hoping you could give me a bit of direction about how to make this happen?
Thanks a lot,
Don’t spend a lot of time talking about yourself
Kind of related to the previous – don’t clog up your email with a lot of unnecessary personal information. People generally say things like “I hope your weekend went well” to be polite – they probably don’t actually want to hear about what you did for your weekend so don’t go into great lengths about everything.
“Hi Lindsey, thanks for asking. Last weekend I spent time with my mum and we went shopping and ate dinner and then I had to go to the supermarket but my car wouldn’t start so I had to call RACV and wait TWO hours for them to arrive and by that point I was too hungry to wait until RACV came so I ordered a pizza instead lol. How about you? How was your weekend? What did you do?”
“My weekend was good thanks, I hope you enjoyed yourself too!”
Have a signature
One thing that will give your emails a bit more professionalism is to add a signature to the bottom. It doesn’t need to be anything too complex, but it’s a good opportunity for you to link to any relevant social media accounts or your phone number without having to say in your email…
“…and if you want to follow me on Twitter my handle is @LindsJGreen and you can find me on Linkedin: and my phone number is 0455 555 555.”
If you’re using Gmail, click the drop down menu in the top right hand corner of your inbox:
And scroll down until you find the signature section:
Want some advice for how to craft a killer email?
Got an idea you want covered here?
Get in touch with the Content Development Coordinator at content @ syn.org.au.