Career Management

Tips for Professional Email Etiquette


Emails are an integral part of our professional lives, and more than a fourth of our day goes in sending and replying to emails. How we compose and reply to emails, talks about our professionalism and contributes towards our personal brand. As job seekers it is extremely critical to follow email etiquette while connecting to recruiters and potential employers.

Below are some tips on following email etiquettes:

  1. Appropriate subject line – A subject line is meant to give the recipient an insight into the email. The recipient discerns the importance of an email by a subject line before reading its contents. So make sure to be concise and use the right words in your subject line.
  1. Clear and concise content – The contents of your email should be concise and to the point. You should use formal language and keep the tone strictly professional. If you have to address multiple points, list them in bullet points to make it easier for the reader to comprehend the content. Make sure to open and close your message with an appropriate and polite greeting while conveying a positive tone. In closing at the end of each email use words such as “Thanks,” “Thank You,” “Best” or “Regards. Remember to proofread the contents for spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.
  1. Utilizing CC and BCC – CC or carbon copy sends a copy of your message to a third person/party besides the primary recipient. BCC or blind carbon copy will send a copy to the third party but in secret without the primary recipient knowing of it. The use of BCC is most commonly used when sending a group email to people who may not know each other in an effort to keep the names and email addresses private. So based on the contents of your email, use your discretion to put email addresses in the appropriate address fields.
  1. Know who you are replying to – When replying, you will have the option to “Reply”—directed to the sender only—or “Reply-All”, which sends your message to everyone the original message was sent to.While replying, exercise caution and know who you are intending to reply to. Do not hit “reply all” unless every member copied on the e-mail chain needs to know your reply. Sometimes using the ‘reply all’ option may result in spamming everyone’s inbox.
  1. Quick turnaround time – It’s professional practice to ensure a quick turnaround time while replying to emails. If the other party or person involved has asked for an answer to a time sensitive question, then make efforts to abide by that timeline. If there is no timeline suggested by the sender, aim to send a reply within 24 to 48 hrs.
  1. Use an auto responder – When necessary, use an auto responder to let the recipient know that you have received the email. An example of an auto responder is the ‘Out of Office’ option. To alert individuals of your absence during a vacation or if you have limited/ no access to emails, remember to set up an out of office auto response to apprise the sender of your absence.
  1. Incorporate an email signature – Using an automatic signature for your email is a great practice and also helps build your personal brand.Conventional signatures typically include your name, title, contact information, company name, and a link to the company or your personal website. If you are active on social media, you could add links to your social media pages as well.

We hope you find these tips useful in your professional life. For more insights and job search as well as career tips connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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