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Boss Blog: How to Write a Great Email

Email Inbox
Email Inbox by Stephen Phillips on Unsplash

It’s the start of a new semester at PCA and also a good time to start looking for internship or summer job opportunities. During this search, you might be sending out a lot of emails or even messages on other platforms like LinkedIn. Whether you are sending out your application based on a job posting or reaching out to a company about potential opportunities, Boss Blog will help you make sure that your emails and messages are setting the best possible first impression.

The Subject

If you’re writiing an email, the subject will be the first thing seen by the recipient. The email subject should be as precise, personalized, and clear as possible. If you’re applying to a job post that you saw on a website that is not the company’s website, make sure to repeat the name of the job post in the subject of your email. Avoid vague language that might appear to be a spam or confuse the recipient.

For example, if you are applying for a job post you saw on mon.paris by email, you can use a title like “[Job Title] Application From PCA Student/[Your Name]”. Avoid using the same subject for every email that you send. Instead, personalize it based on the post title and perhaps job position that you are applying for. This helps the recipient to see right away what your email will be about so they can respond accordingly.

The Body

When you’re writing the email, remember these key features:

1. Why are you writing?
Start the email with a clear introduction of yourself and your reason for writing. You can mention how you heard about the job or where you saw the job post. In this introduction to the email, you should use polite greetings and if possible, address the recipient directly by name. Keep this introduction of the email warm and personable by conveying your interest in the posted position or in working with the company.

2. Why you’re a good fit?
Even though you might already be attaching a cover letter and CV to the email, it’s necessary to write a few short sentences to introduce yourself and explain why you’re applying. This email is your first introduction so it should set the tone. For example, in two or three sentences, you can provide your brief professional or academic background and why you’re interested in their position.

If you’re not attaching a cover letter, then use the email body as a brief cover letter and go more in detail about your background, interest in the position, and what they might expect when working with you.

3. Call to action
Before closing the email, remember to add a call to action. A call to action is a request for how the recipient can take action to follow-up with you after your email. If you’re applying directly to a position, then you can mention your hours of availabilities during the following weeks for a call or interview. It’s helpful to take the first step by letting them know how you would like to continue the recruitment process and when you will be available. This might already be mentioned in the job post.

4. Don’t forget salutations
Finally, remember to always start and close your email with salutations. For example, start with “Dear [Name]” and end with “I am looking forward to your reply”, then “Sincerely, [Your Name]”. It’s good practice to do this for all professional correspondences when writing any messages even if it’s via LinkedIn or another platform.

Sender’s Email

It’s also important to have a professional email address when sending emails for a job opportunity. It’s always best to have your full name in your email address instead of a pseudonym. Try to use recognizable email domains such as Gmail, a paid website domain, or your PCA email.

The Follow-Up

If you’re waiting for a response and haven’t heard back, what does that mean? Sometimes, it may take some time for recruiters and HR managers to review all the applications. It’s important to give them time to review the applications first. The general rule of thumb is that you can follow-up about two weeks after sending the application or completing the interview. When you follow-up, remember to be courteous, brief, and clear regarding any questions you may have. Also remember to include polite greetings and to thank them for their time if it is following an interview or meeting.

Sometimes, you might not receive a response and that’s also okay. It’s not necessary to follow-up a second or third time if you haven’t heard anything after a month or two.

Before you click send…

Always remember to proofread and review your emails or messages. A quick skim goes a long way for catching small errors or typos and for ensuring that all your document attachments are there.