Emails are often the first impression a professional has of you – regardless of what you’re reaching out to them for you need to be on your best manners at all times!
Professional email etiquette is one of the most important writing forms of business today. As more commerce goes national and international, email is one of the easiest ways to be in constant communication with your partners. Unfortunately, how to write a professional email isn’t always clear whether you’re writing it to an associate in your own country or a different one! Luckily we have some tips that will help you improve your international and professional email etiquette in general!
Be as formal as possible: from the start the most important thing is to be as polite as possible, especially with specific opening and closing statements. Always go for the languages’ equivalent of “Dear Mr./Ms.” and be careful not to end the email with a colloquial line like “hugs and kisses”.
Always use the formal tense (if your language has it): many languages have what is considered a formal tense which should be used for professional communication, but if yours does not there are still ways to keep it formal.
- Avoid slang
- Avoid abbreviations
- Avoid using first names unless you know recipient on a personal level
Keep your text short: people aren’t inclined to read long blocks of text (we can blame social media’s culture of instant information). So if what you want to say can be said in fewer words, do it. You can always add more details later on in the exchange.
Work around the recipient’s schedule: if you’re trying to set up a meeting or a conversation it is best to accommodate the other person’s needs. You are the one reaching out to them after all, and it is likely they you need their help more than they need yours.
Research the professional culture of the recipient: professional cultures differ in different countries. It is best to always do a little research about the standard practices of communication between professionals in that culture beforehand!
Want to get more tips about professional email etiquette and other workplace practices? Enroll in our English for Professionals Training Program, and receive specific training from highly qualified instructors and practice in personal training groups!
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