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The Unspoken Rules of Professional Email

The Unspoken Rules of Professional Email

Have you cracked them? – A 1 minute read.

Email is an essential tool in most workplaces, yet, nobody really teaches you the basic ‘dos and don’ts’ of sending professional emails. We’re here to help. Check out our summary of the ‘unspoken rules’ of professional email.


Subject Line-  Keep in concise. Briefly convey the purpose for your writing

Greeting- Always greet the recipient. Are you on a first name basis with this person? If not, address them by their title.

Length- Keep it clear and concise. Try to avoid sending ‘a wall of text’ that many will skim or won’t read at all. Only include essential information. If necessary, break it down using spaces and bullet points.

Font- Avoid ornate, playful and colourful fonts. If your company has a preferred font, it’s a good idea to set this as a default to ensure consistency and professionalism. Keep the use of bold and italic to a minimum, misuse can appear cluttered and difficult to view.

Avoid Typing in Capital Letters- TYPING IN CAPITAL LETTERS could be perceived as overexcited, abrupt or aggressive.

Emoticons/Emoji’s- Don’t use them in a professional email!

Spelling and Grammar- Review and edit carefully before sending.

Signing Off- Close the email with a brief, polite and professional sign-off such as “Many thanks,” “Kind Regards” or Best wishes”.


Key Takeaways to ensure you master sending professional emails:

Do:

  • Set the company’s preferred email signature format and font as default
  • Organise folders and rules for projects to ensure you can access information quickly and you don’t miss important emails
  • Ensure you’re replying to the most recent message in an email thread
  • Proof read emails, checking for errors in the email such as spelling and grammar
  • Ensure you address the correct person
  • Check the message for tone and see how it reads out loud. Could a “please” or “hope you’re well” soften up an abrupt sounding message?
  • Add a professional sign-off
  • New to the job? It may be an idea to copy your manager/supervisor into emails until they say you don’t need to any more.

Don’t:

  • Take too long to reply to people.
  • “Reply all” to an email with lots of recipients who don’t need to see your reply.
  • Copy and paste the same email without changing details such as names, job titles, company names and dates
  • Forget to introduce yourself if you’ve not spoken to the recipient before
  • Mark emails as ‘high importance’ if they are not
  • Forget to attach attachments which you’ve referenced in your email
  • Forward a confidential email trail

Click here for more tips, or get in touch today to seek our consultants specialist advice.