Writing professional emails is a key skill for honors students beginning their college career. Well-composed emails can set you apart from the rest of the pack, whether you’re contacting potential employers, one of your professors or a member of the Honors College faculty. Here are four basics of professional email writing that can help you in your college years and beyond.
Create an Informative Subject Line
The goal of a subject line is to let the recipient know what your email is concerning. Leaving the section blank is a sign of carelessness and informality, so a brief but informative subject line is the most respectful and convenient way to deliver this important information to whoever is receiving the email. If emailing a teacher, include your class block for easier identification and make use of appropriate capitalization.
Keep it Clear and Correct
No one wants to read a confusing email. If you’re asking a question, make it obvious and provide any necessary background information beforehand. Stay on topic and don’t repeat yourself. If they’ve already read what you have to say once, they don’t need to hear the same thing again.
Review your email for any errors at least once before you send it. Look for mistakes in spelling and grammar and double check any important dates and locations. If you’ve included your student ID or what class block you have with your professor, make sure you’ve documented it correctly.
It’s important to be considerate of the fact that someone is taking time out of their day to read what you have sent them. One important element of this in addition to being concise is remaining respectful. All of the typical, everyday manners apply – say please and thank you, greet them kindly and sign off, making sure they understand that you appreciate their time. Strong salutations include:
- Thanks in advance
- Have a great day
- Looking forward to hearing from you
- See you soon
- Thank you for your consideration
In addition to a salutation, a strong, professional email signature can help identify you and set you apart from other students. Include items like your name, contact information, major, expected graduation year, job and any professional social media accounts, like LinkedIn. Keep it simple, with no distracting fonts or colors. Different templates serve different purposes, so your signature will likely look different from the next person’s. An example might look something like this:
Bachelor of Science in Accounting, 2021
John.Lope@my.gcu.edu │ www.linkedin.com/johnlope
Are you interested in joining a community of likeminded honors students at Grand Canyon University? Visit our website or click the Request Information button on this page to get started on your journey to find your purpose.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.