How to Write a Professional Work Email – Jargon to Avoid + Helpful Tips

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    Regardless of where you are in your career, it’s important to know how to write a work email. 

    Knowing how to write a professional email for a job can be key during your job search and networking process. It’s also important to know how to write a professional email to your boss. 

    Writing emails is a common form of communication in today’s workplace. Likely, at some point during your career, you will have to write a thank you email after a job interview or email your manager to ask for time off of work. You may even choose to write a cold email for a job during a job search. 

    Learning how to write professional emails at work and how to write a professional job application email are valuable skills. Like with any other skill, cultivating good emailing habits takes practice. In this article, we will share 10 helpful tips for learning how to write an email for work. 

    10 helpful tips to follow when writing a work email

    A professional, well-written email can help you delegate more efficiently, communicate your needs effectively, and demonstrate your overall communication and organizational skills. Ideally, a work email should be clear and concise, with actionable steps. 

    If you are wondering how to create a professional business email, choose something very plain and straightforward. Usually, work email addresses will be some version of your name, such as DanielFoster@gmail.com or Michelle_Gray@gmail.com. Having a professional email address is key when learning how to write a professional email asking for a job.

    If you are actively working on your workplace communication skills and want to know more about how to write a professional work email, read on for key writing tips and guidelines.  

    01

    Use a meaningful subject line

    One of the most important factors to consider when learning how to write a work email or how to write a professional email for a job application is to choose a meaningful subject line. Writing a meaningful subject line could make the difference between being read and being deleted. Keep this in mind as you draft your email. Choose a subject line that is clear, concise, and reflective of the overall content of the email.

    02

    Choose an appropriate greeting

    Avoid informal and overly formal greetings. A simple “hello” or “hi” is appropriate. Be sure to address the email recipient correctly. If you are wondering how to write a professional email with your resume attached, you may want to air on the side of formality and include their full job title. 

    03

    Be concise and succinct

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    Do your best to be clear and concise. Avoid filler words, such as: “just,” “actually,” “basically,” “very,” “really,” and “in order to.” It’s also important to eliminate unnecessary details and cut out general wordiness. 

    Simplify your verbs. This will help you lower your word count. For example, instead of writing “I am feeling overwhelmed,” write “I feel overwhelmed.” Instead of writing “she seems to be content,” write “she seems content.”

    Here are some other common phrases that can be simplified:

    04

    Make your email easy to skim

    Organization is key. Write brief, straightforward paragraphs. Consider using lists and bullet points to help convey necessary steps. 

    Ideally, your emails should be easy to skim. If your email is too wordy, the recipient may become confused or miss important details. Only write what is strictly necessary. 

    05

    Don’t use informal language, slang, or emojis

    It’s important when you are learning how to write a professional email to a company to avoid informal language, slang, and emojis. This will likely undermine your credibility. Use work emails to demonstrate your communication, writing, organizational skills, and professionalism.

    06

    Avoid using jargon

    Avoid using industry-specific or company-specific jargon, especially if you are emailing someone outside of your industry or company. Do your best to use simple, direct phrasing. This will help prevent confusion and any potential miscommunications. It’s better to write one clear email than to write several follow-up emails. It’s also best to write out any acronyms. 

    07

    Choose a standard font

    Always use a standard font that is easy to read. Do not use a “fancy” font that is difficult to read. Use a standard font size and do not use colored ink.

    08

    Be kind and thank them for their time

    Always be courteous and thank the email recipient for their time. Avoid passive aggressive phrases, such as “per my last email” or “as previously discussed.” It’s important to be brief and concise, but this should not be at the expense of kindness and professionalism. Similarly, you don’t need to be overly gratuitous, but you should acknowledge the fact that the email recipient is taking time to correspond with you.

    09

    Choose an appropriate closer

    For most work emails, avoid overly formal closers, such as “sincerely.” A simple “thank you” or “best regards,” works well. Be sure to include your full name, job title, and any other relevant details in your signature.  

    10

    Proofread your email

    Always proofread your email. Not only are typos unprofessional, but they can also be confusing and lead to larger miscommunications. Reread your emails before pressing send to make sure they are accurate and error-free. 

    While rereading your email, make sure you don’t use overly formal punctuation. Excessive commas, colons, and semicolons can come across as being cold. Generally speaking, you also want to avoid using exclamation points and ellipsis in work emails. 

    Key takeaways and moving forward

    Emailing is an important form of communication in today’s workplace and learning how to write a work email takes practice. This is especially true as more and more workers pursue fully remote and hybrid work models. 

    The next time you have to write a professional email, review our 10 tips above for key insights into the writing process. If you feel like you could benefit from professional guidance, reach out to learn more about our services.

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