It’s Not So Spooky: Writing a Professional Email

BOO! Did we scare you? Ghosts and goblins abound this time of the year, but there’s one monster that crawls out from under the bed all year long: the dreaded professional email. Whether you’re writing a thank you email to a recruiter, contacting a customer or client, or just following up with a co-worker to check on deadlines, it’s important to keep things professional. Here are our tips on how to do so without frightening your recipient.

  1. Keep Things Hauntingly Short, But Not Too Short

Folks are generally busy, so you should keep most of your emails short and to the point. But it’s a fine balance, since too short can come across as rude. For example, “You missed the deadline, please respond at your earliest convenience” is short, but makes it seem like you’re angry or fed up with the receiver. Instead, opt for “Hey there, just checking in on ____! Just let me know if we need to extend the deadline,” gets the same message across without sounding peeved.

  1. Stay Away from Batty Internet Slang Plz

Phrases like “lmk” and “ttyl” are great for texting with your friends, but not so great for texting your boss or the guy you just interviewed. You want to put your best foot forward, and when you use abbreviations like these, some people might think you don’t want to put in the effort to spell things out. Others might not even know what the phrases stand for.

  1. Be Detailed and Specific

You don’t want your recipient to have to ask for additional information in order to respond to your email. That means packing in all the needed details into your initial ask. For example, if you’re asking for someone’s availability, don’t just ask, “are you free tomorrow?” Instead, set a specific time, like “are you free tomorrow from 1 to 2?” That way the recipient doesn’t have to waste time asking what time you’d like to meet.

  1. Check for Terrifying Typos

A quick spellcheck can save you from sending an unprofessional email. If you get everything else right and misspell your recipients’ name, your email goes from fab to drab. Same goes for grammar mistakes or other misspellings.

  1. Stay Away from Frightening Phrases

There are some loaded phrases you’ll want to avoid when writing a professional email. These include:

  • “As per my last email” or “Like I said before.” Even if you have good intentions, these phrases make you look rude or demanding.
  • “I completely understand your point, but.” You might very well know what your recipient is going through, but you also might not.
  • “You might want to” or “you should” or “Please know.” These all are a bit presumptive.

Writing a professional email might be a spooky prospect, but you can do it! Keep things short, detailed, and polite, and you’ll be well on your way!

Any other questions about writing professional emails? Let us know in the comments section below!

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