Take time to learn these basic guidelines to make it effective, professional and respectful of the person's busy schedule.

  • Keep it short.
  • Deliver only your name, your reason for emailing, the best ways to reach you, and your phone number if you suggest a phone call.
  • Show some understanding of how busy your contact is — it will increase your chances for a return message.
  • Choose a brief description of yourself that will pique your contact's interest.
  • Never send a message indicating that you are job seeking and expect a response.
  • Respect the reader's privacy and online accessibility. Do not share a recruiter's personal e-mail address with your friend unless you've received permission.
  • Be sure your email alias and/or signature is professional.
  • Do not use short-hand language (i.e. texting) or emoticons in your message.
  • Be sure to read through your email message before sending it.
  • If you will be away and not checking your email account, consider using a vacation mail message.

Not Effective/Detrimental

Length:

Communication is too short; 2-3 lines

Clarity:

Does not flow from one point to next, contains grammar and/or spelling mistakes; (0-1) pieces of information provided:
__ name
__ reason for writing
__ best time to be reached
__ phone number

Amount of information provided:

Way too much information; overwhelming for the reader.

Action requested

Indicated seeking a job/ internship and expect a respons..

Average

Length:

Communication is too long; contains multiple paragraphs providing additional details that are not necessary in introductory communication

Clarity:

Provided minimal information (1-2):
__ name
__ reason for writing
__ best time to be reached
__ phone number

Amount of information provided:

Pertinent information was hidden in extraneous information.

Action requested

No action requested.

Effective

Length:

Communication is brief consisting of 3 – 5 lines.

Clarity:

Provided some information (2-3):
__ name
__ reason for writing
__ best time to be reached
__ phone number

Amount of information provided:

Used a lengthy description of self.

Action requested

Requested action is not clear.

Most Effective

LENGTH:

Communication is brief, and to the point; consisting of 5 – 7 lines.

CLARITY:

Clearly provided (all 4):
__ name
__ reason for writing
__ best time to be reached
__ phone number

AMOUNT OF INFORMATION PROVIDED:

Used a brief description of self to pique interest.

ACTION REQUESTED:

Requested information and a time to talk/meet.

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