Learning to write masterful emails

In the business world, networking and connections are a large part of what will help make you successful. Introductions are the currency of this business world. Say you are networking and someone offers to introduce you to an acquaintance of theirs. Great! If, after 24 hours, you don’t hear from them, just send a friendly email to the person saying how nice it was to meet them and thanking them for their offer to connect you and their acquaintance. Not only will this show that you appreciate their offer but it will also serve as a subtle reminder.

Now, you get the email introducing you to their acquaintance. What comes next? Reply to all so the introducer sees that you promptly acted on their generous gesture. Thank them in the first line and then present yourself to their acquaintance. Tell them about yourself and your objective in a succinct manner. Respect their time and offer to buy them a cup of coffee if they have 15 minutes to meet with you. This varies situation to situation, but all of this applies to recruiters from the career fair, too.

Since the career fair is over and (hopefully) you’ve made contact with a few companies, be smart with the next steps. Once you’ve been introduced, that does not give permission to launch into “kthksbai” and “roflmao.” Maintaining your professional self is critical, as ignoring these small details is enough to topple an employment opportunity or future business relationship.

In regards to “ty 4 ur help,” this odd-looking “statement” is the product of our ever-quickening society in which we look for shortcuts to help us move on to the next task. When it comes down to it, typing out “thank you for your help,” takes an extra second or two but goes a long way in building relationships. It seems as though there is a new Buzzfeed-esque list every day that shows the deterioration of our communication standards. I’m not saying that text-speak isn’t okay, because it is, just in the right situation. Some emails need to be more professional where it wouldn’t hurt to dust off the elementary school grammar skills.

We all have emails going in and out every day, sometimes by the hundreds. They can be anything from homework questions, to coordinating club events, to sharing valuable pieces of information. Amongst this jumble stand the highly important career emails. Realistically, not all emails are created equal and these in particular need to be treated with the utmost care. There are millions of articles on how to write a professional email but they all come down to the same two points: be respectful and remember who you are talking to.

Whether you are introducing yourself to a potential business partner, a recruiter, or an investor, some consideration needs to be given to the formulation of that email. This is where the real application comes into play. What is your relationship with the person? How would they react to a jumble of text-speak and mixed capitalization? (Hint: not favorably.) Understanding these things will set you well on your way to success. Additionally, respect the person and their time. Long-winded emails are almost as bad as abbreviation-littered ones. Be concise and if they want more information, let them ask for it. Remember, they are the ones with the power to invest in you with money, time, or a job/internship/co-op. It is up to you to make first impressions and you can only present yourself for the first time once so make it count!