By John Sonmez January 7, 2016

How To Write Professional Emails That People Won’t Ignore

Have you ever tried to write a professional email but failed? Your boss ignored you, you didn't get that job, etc…

The thing is that there are certain points that need to be highlighted in order to write a winning email.

In this video I highlight some important things you should have in mind in order to write professional emails that your clients and bosses won't ignore.

 

Full transcript:

John:               Hey, John Sonmez from simpleprogrammer.com. I thought I would do a topic that I’ve been asked about a fair amount and just something that I have observed. I’ve probably talked about this once or twice but I’ve never really fully addressed this idea of looking professional in email. I think this is a problem that a lot of people have especially if you’re not a native English speaker. I’ve noticed that typically you might come across less professionally in email so I wanted to give some tips on how you could come across professional in email.

First of all let’s talk about why. When someone receives an email from you they immediately judge you, right? There’s a split judgment. I read an email, I can just scan an email before I read it and I sort of make some judgments about the intelligence of that person, the accuracy of that person, how much their attention to detail is. A lot of that is just from the capitalization of an email, the spelling, the punctuation, the spacing of an email, right? If I see a nicely formatted email I have a better perception than of a poorly formatted one.

So there are some real simple things that you can do even if English is not your first language. I understand that, you know, it doesn’t have to be perfect English in order to be good. So the first thing that you can do, anyone can do is to make sure that they have a proper greeting, right? You shouldn’t just start your email, you should say, “hello” and that person’s name or something, “hey there” whatever it is and a comma, right, just like writing a letter. That’s really important.

Then I would say the second thing is—and some of this is going to seem really basic, but believe me I get enough emails that I’m telling you this for a reason which is that you should have proper capitalization, right? Sentences begin with a capital letter in English, so do that. If you have lower case letter starting your sentences, it looks silly, it looks childish, it looks like you don’t really care and that you’re not really intelligent. I’m totally honest with you here, right? That’s what it looks like. That’s the perception so start with capital letters. Use proper punctuation. If you don’t end your sentences with a period or proper punctuation, again, that looks silly, if you use a lot of slang like … and slashes and kind of weird punctuation that’s also going to look weird.

So then another thing is to not use very much slang. When you write an email try to sound professional. Try to sound like you care about what the other person thinks, that you’ve put some thought into this. If you write an email that looks like it’s just been dashed off and that you typed it out on your phone and you don’t really care, it’s going to come across in that email.

The last thing I would I say is the spacing, right? If you write one big block of text, again, it’s not going to look very professional. It looks like you’re just ranting. Try to be concise and then also try to break things up, right? If you look at some of my blog posts, if you look at some of the writing that I do, I break things up. In today’s age of short attention spans and so much information, one sentence paragraphs are usually best. This is not what you learn in school but usually that works best especially in the emails, one sentence and then put an extra carriage return, an extra space there and then write your next sentence so that it’s nice and there’s lots of white space, it’s easy to read, but keep it condense as well.

Those are some tips that are going to help you to look professional in your email. It’s going to make a huge, huge difference especially if you’re trying to get someone’s attention. I can tell you that a nice short concise professionally written email is much more likely to be read and to be taken seriously by me and I’m sure by other people that something that just looks like it’s scribbled. If it looks like you didn’t care when you were writing the email why should I care about reading your email? That’s what most people are going to think.

Anyway, hopefully that advice helps you. If you find it useful definitely subscribe to the channel and I will talk to you next time. Take care.

 

 

 

 

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."