Other Business Correspondence
MPAc Career Services
Electronic communication has almost entirely replaced written and even telephone communication in many areas. People now use email as a primary way of communicating with friends, family, co-workers and others who are important to each of us for different reasons. You may be contacting someone about employment, a business venture, following up with customer service or emailing instead of using the telephone.
It goes without saying that personal emails sent between friends and family should be treated differently than professional email correspondence. Keep the reason for your email clear and concise, especially when using this medium to contact potential employers.
Since email tends to be more conversational and quickly written, there is a tendency to treat it as less formal than written correspondence. However, email messages should contain the same information as letters, but shorter – one to three paragraphs.
Tips for successful email communication:
- Don’t fill in the “to” field with the recipient’s address until you finish writing, proofreading and editing the message and adding attachments. This will prevent accidentally sending the message before you are ready.
- Blind carbon copy (Bcc) yourself on what you send. This will allow you to resend the message if a problem arises or if you want to follow up.
- Mention any attachments in the body of your e-mail. Open the attachment before you send the message to make sure that it is the correct document, and that it’s error-free.
- Avoid informal lingo, “text speak” and memes in a professional email. Also, emoticons and extra exclamation points should be reserved for emails to friends.
Thank You Letters
Even though it may seem counter intuitive, more often than not good manners coincide with wise business practices. The classic thank you note is a perfect example of such an instance where a nice gesture doubles as a great way to strengthen relations, stand out, and be remembered in a competitive context. However, striking the right balance between amiable courtesy and professionalism is not always easy.
Thank you letters should always be sent after a job interview. Sending a thank you via email is a completely acceptable mode, and is sometimes even better because it is immediate. A written thank you to follow up is also a nice touch – this should be mailed within two business days. Thank yous should also be sent after informational interviews, referrals, or a particularly useful networking event. This should be done even if you have telephoned and thanked the person for their time or said “thank you” before leaving the interview.
Thank you letters should be brief and acknowledge the person for their time. You may want to restate a particular strength or attempt to correct something you perceived was missing in the interview. The point is to be brief, professional, acknowledge the time spent or information given and leave a positive impression. Moreover, it’s imperative to reiterate and emphasize your interest in the position for which you have interviewed.