Tag Archives: business emailing etiquette

Cold E-mailing a Potential Employer—Effectively!


Whether you’ve just submitted a job application, are thinking about submitting a job application, or simply want to inquire about open positions at a company, sending a “cold” e-mail can often be advantageous. You may not really know the person you’re e-mailing, but it never hurts to be proactive and to try to establish some level of connection. Of course, there is no guarantee that your e-mail will get a response, or have any effect at all—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

In fact, there are some steps that any jobseeker can take to enhance the effectiveness of a “cold” e-mail to a would-be employer. Here are a few tips that the Grammar Chic team recommends:

  • Do some research. You probably know by now that, before going in for a job interview, you should do a little bit of research, trying to figure out what the company culture is like, what its values are, what it actually does. The same is true for sending a cold e-mail. Get to know the company, but also get to know the person you’re e-mailing—what he or she does, what his or her job title is, and so on. LinkedIn is a great tool for this research.
  • Be specific with your subject line. You should always operate under the assumption that you’re e-mailing a busy person who gets lots of e-mails each day. If your subject line is something like “hello,” you’re less likely to get a response. Instead, offer detail: “Intro e-mail from Bobby Smith, from last week’s conference,” or “UNC senior hopeful for internship.”
  • Don’t ramble. Shoot for no more than two or three short paragraphs. Respect the person’s time. Get right to the point, and lay out exactly what you’re trying to accomplish.
  • Show some enthusiasm. Remember that you’re making a first impression, and the last thing you want is for that impression to be lackluster, unengaged, or blasé.
  • Send work samples. This won’t be possible in every field, of course—but if you have some sort of a digital portfolio to share, it doesn’t hurt to pass it along.
  • Proofread your e-mail. And if you need help with that, call the Grammar Chic, Inc. team!

In fact, you’re welcome to contact us with any job search, resume writing, or proofreading inquiries: www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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Filed under Resumes

E-mail Etiquette is Essential to Your Job Search


First impressions are everything, especially when you’re searching for a new job. You probably wouldn’t show up for a job interview wearing your gym clothes and a baseball cap, nor would you greet the hiring manager with a fist bump instead of a firm handshake—because you understand that your appearance, your words, and your actions ultimately all reflect on your professionalism, and on your desirability as a candidate.

But of course, in many cases, the interview is not your first impression, not truly. In today’s world, there’s often a fair amount of back-and-forth e-mailing that goes on between you and the HR manager or recruiter, long before you even have a phone interview, much less an in-person one. Thus, some of the very first impressions about your character and your professionalism will come from your e-mails—how they’re worded, how they’re sent, and how you convey good manners even through electronic communication.

The Basics of E-mail Etiquette

For jobseekers, then, mastering the fundamentals of e-mail etiquette is important. Many tips will go without saying—you don’t want to send out professional e-mails laden with typos or text-message abbreviations, for instance—but a few more salient points include:

  • In addition to Internet slang and text message abbreviations, you’ll also want to weed out jokes, emoticons, and any instances of deadpan or sarcasm. It’s not that there isn’t any room for a sense of humor in the job search, but these things can often be misconstrued over e-mail—so why risk it? Just stick to straightforward professionalism.
  • Use a professional e-mail address, which is not the same thing as saying use your current work e-mail address. Set up a Gmail or some other account that includes just your name, or a variation on it—not something like RunnerGal1983 or VolsFan or Springsteen4Life or what have you.
  • When you receive an e-mail from a hiring manager or recruiter, respond within 24 hours if possible, 48 hours at the absolute most. If you don’t particularly have anything to say, then simply confirm receipt of the previous e-mail.
  • Don’t use all-caps or exclamation points in professional e-mails. There’s no need to yell.
  • Finally, remember that while professionalism is the order of the day, there is always room for a little enthusiasm. Make it clear that you’re interested in the job—that you really want it. If you’re on the fence about it, that’s likely to come through in your communications, so work to convey your real excitement, or else just move on to the next opportunity.

Every e-mail you send to a potential employer is an opportunity to convey your professionalism—and your desire for the job in question. To learn more about the best job search protocol, please contact our team today. Grammar Chic, Inc. can be reached at 803-831-7444, or at http://www.grammarchic.net.


Filed under Email Writing

8 Ways to Make Your Business Emails More Effective


If you’re a business owner, then you’re also a writer—whether you realize it or not. You may outsource your business blogging and you may have an employee who formulates proposals for you, but, if nothing else, you write emails every day—to potential clients, to current customers, to partners and associates, and to members of your team.

But have you ever paused to think about the craft and strategy of business email writing? When you approach your emails intelligently, you can maximize their impact—in other words, you can boost the odds that those emails will have the effect you intend them to have.

Here are a few tips for doing just that.

Offer Details in the Subject Line

If you want somebody to open and read your email, you’ve got to remember that most people get slammed with way more emails than they could ever hope to read, much less show real interest in. Make yours stand out by communicating specific value in the subject heading. Don’t ever leave the subject line blank; don’t use something like “quick question” (which is vague) or “very important/please read” (because what’s important to you may not be important to your reader). Instead, offer specific value: “Meeting confirmed for 9 a.m. Friday” or “Notes from Monday’s conference call” are both solid.

Keep Your Message Focused

We often tell people that a company blog entry needs to have just one primary argument—with some supporting sub-points, perhaps, but just one focused topic. We advise the same thing with emails. You should stick to one point if at all possible; if you have separate points that are substantial, split them into separate messages. If you do have a number of points to make, indicate in your first sentence how many points there are, and then number them.

Think Before Attaching

Attachments are often necessary, but remember that they can consume bandwidth, carry viruses, and take a lot of time to download and open; additionally, they do not always translate well to different email programs or operating systems. If you really just need someone to look at a paragraph of text, consider copying and pasting it into the message instead of sending an attachment.

Use the URGENT Flag with Care

Most email programs will allow you to flag a message as being urgent/important—but do this as sparingly as possible. In theory, every email you send to a client or co-worker should be important—else, you’re wasting their time and yours. Don’t become the person who flags every single email as important, because people will quickly realize that this really means none of your emails are important.

Identify Yourself

This isn’t text messaging. If you’re emailing someone in your close circles—someone you are in contact with on a daily or weekly basis—that’s one thing. If you’re emailing a prospect “cold,” or following up with someone you have just met, it is important to say who you are and what organization you represent within the first sentence or two.

Don’t Assume Privacy

Whenever you email, think about your own online reputation. Email is not secure, and there is no way to prevent your message from being forwarded or published somewhere. The last thing you want is to say something nasty about a client or a competitor and then have that message leaked somehow. You can deny it, of course, but your reputation will still suffer.

Know When to Be Informal

When you’re emailing a close friend over something not strictly work-related, it is okay to use smiley faces and abbreviations. For anything else, avoid these things!


For the sake of clarity, respect for the recipient, and your own professional reputation, take a minute to read through your message before you press ‘send.’ It’s as simple as that.

Looking for additional help crafting a compelling business email? The Grammar Chic, Inc. team stands ready to assist. Contact us today for more info, either by visiting www.grammarchic.net or by calling 803-831-7444803-831-7444.

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Filed under Business Writing, Email Writing