Need Help Writing a Professional E-mail?

The professional use of e-mail is crucial, especially within an office setting. Yet, I will note that the professional use of e-mail is not always necessary. In today’s society e-mail communication is used between friends, family, and social groups. For the purpose of this piece, we will look at the professional aspect of crafting an e-mail and sending it.

Subject – This is an important part of the message and gives readers a clue about what is coming.

Greeting– Should be simple, but professional

Ex.: If you are e-mailing your colleagues your opening should be:

“Hello _first name_” Not, “Hey hommie, what’s up?”

Body – No one wants to read e-mails for hours on end, get to the point of your message or ask your questions. There is no need for a long background story or sources in this type of message.

Conclusion – Close with some indication of how the person should respond to your message, if necessary.

Signature – Make sure your name and contact information is clear as well as the department you are a part of and the company name. Many companies may have a specific format they would like.

Here is an example of a complete signature to add to all e-mail messages.

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Use of Language, Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation – As always it is imperative to review your work so that you maintain a level of quality and perfection in your work.

Logistics of the message (date, time sent, etc.) – E-mails are instant and today many people receive them on the cell phones. If you decide to send a business e-mail at 1am while you are up late working, your colleagues might not appreciate the notification.

In an effort to make e-mail messages more professional in the workplace the above guidelines should help you draft and perfect the messages being sent to co-workers in the office.

In some offices there are guide lines for using e-mail. This seems to be an effective way of regulating the amount of e-mail people get on a given day. Below are a few ideas for regulating e-mail use in your office-

1. Only use the company e-mail system when it relates to company matters

2. Try to avoid sending late night/ early morning e-mails

3. Remember there are memos and notes and personal communication

Writing in the professional world can be pretty difficult, but when it is done correctly the messages are effective. Hopefully you will take some of these suggestions and make your e-mail communication more professional in your workplace.

Jessica Cook is a student at the University of South Florida and studying Accounting. She currently has experience with professional e-mails in her office where she is a Fiscal Assistant for the University’s Student Affairs department.

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