Writing Emails


Email is one of the predominant methods of communication, but do you know how to put an email together in an appropriate manner?

 Using Email for job applications

This is your chance to make a critical first impression, so it is important that your email is presented in much the same way as a professional cover letter.

  • Make sure you have a clear and suitable email address

  • Include the title of the position you are applying for in the subject line of your message

  • Be brief, to the point and positive

  • State why you are interested in the position

  • Give a clear and positive overall impression of you and your qualities

  • Ensure that you include your full name, email address and phone number

  • Your email should not be any longer than two or three short paragraphs

  • The email content should draw attention to the key parts of your attached CV or application form

General Email Guidelines

Communication by email eliminates the valuable non-verbal elements that are a key part of any conversation. In face-to-face communication, we read the non-verbal information, like facial expression and gestures. Without these important non-verbal cues, the recipient’s imagination will fill in the blanks. Consequently this can lead to misunderstandings, damaged relationships, poor business decisions and more.

  • Write important emails in the same way that you would write a business letter

  • Use a clear and specific subject line (e.g. Careers Appointment Required)

  • Make the first paragraph a single, well-written introduction that builds from/repeats the subject line

  • Keep the content brief and to the point

  • Do not use informal abbreviations, such as FYI, LOL, BTW and ROFL

  • Do not use emoticons or kisses

  • Respect the privacy of others and remember email is not private

  • Email may not be the best option for conveying sensitive information

  • Remember that a living, breathing human being will be reading your message

  • Do not assume that just because you write in a certain way it will be received in the same way

  • An email can easily be misinterpreted without the non-verbal communication to help explain it

  • Do not put anything in an email it would not be appropriate for others to read

  • Write emails in Word or as a draft first

  • Use the appropriate level of courtesy (e.g., Dear Ms. Brown) until they indicate that less formal is appropriate

  • Make sure you spell the name of the recipient correctly

  • Sign off (e.g. Kind regards) just as you would in a business letter

  • Check spelling and grammar

  • Read it several times before sending and consider getting a second opinion

  • Even an emailed note should be professional and error-free

  • Make sure that any attachments are actually attached

  • Finally, enter the recipients email address and press send

  • If your email is likely to be emotionally charged, walk away from the computer and write it later

If you need any further help or advice, please contact the Careers and Employability Team