Whether you’re applying for a new job, just starting off in your career or are an established professional, the way you communicate matters. Written communication can become sloppy and unprofessional if we aren’t careful. Here are a few tips to ensure you’re communicating professionally within the work place or when applying for a new position.
Professionals consistently communicate through email in the workplace. Emails can be sent to other colleagues, leadership and also to clients, so email requires a professional tone. Here are key elements to include in your emails to ensure they are profession and well-organized.
- Subject Line – Tell the reader why you are writing or what you are writing about. This should be a summary of the purpose of your email in a few words.
- Greeting – Address your recipient formally, unless you know them very well. Use a salutation, such as “Hello Mr. Jones” or “Good morning, Ms. Andrews” to begin your email politely and professionally.
- Structure your email – Break up large blocks of text to improve readability. Be concise and direct, as long emails can become hard to read.
- Closing – Conclude your email with a clear call to action that tells your recipient what you want them to do next. You might ask to schedule a conference call, for a RSVP or a general response. Include your full name and essential contact information.
When you have written your email, read through it before sending to make sure you don’t have any misspellings or have grammatical errors.
Impress with Your Cover Letter
A cover letter can be the most important part of your job application for some hiring managers. Showcase why the employer should hire you and stand out above all other candidates. Here are few key things to include in a cover letter to improve your communications.
- Include the Hiring Managers name. Avoid general salutations like “to whom it may concern.” The cover letter should be customized to the employer and people you want to work with.
- Introduce yourself in the very first sentence of the cover letter. Highlight your excitement about the organization you’re applying to, the passion for the work you do or your past accomplishments.
- Expand on the bullet points in your resume to paint a picture of your experiences, and show off why you’re a perfect for the job.
- Write in the organization’s “voice.” Spending time reviewing the website and social media channels can help you get a sense for the organization’s tone, language and culture which you will want to mirror in this cover letter.
Once you’ve written your cover letter, review to make sure you haven’t missed any spelling errors. Read the letter aloud to make sure the sentence structures are correct and that it all flows together.
Follow Up with a Thank You Email
After an interview, send a thank you email to those individuals who interviewed you. This should be a brief email describing your appreciation for those who spent part of their day getting to know you. Utilize the steps listed under Email Etiquette listed above to make sure your email is professionally written, but here are few ways to make sure a thank you response impresses your interviewer.
- Use their name correctly. Make sure the spelling is correct!
- Open the email by saying thank you. Mention the specific job you’re applying for and express your gratitude for the opportunity to interview.
- Reiterate your interest, goals and experience. Note the goals that were especially important to the person you spoke with. Connect that goal to your interests and past experience.
- Include your contact information. Invite the recipient to reach out to you if they have any other questions.
In general, keep your written communications positive and polite. Use a professional tone that suits the organization you’re working with, and avoid any slang. Write complete sentences that are direct, yet informative. Properly executing a cover letter or email shows that you’re professional and an effective communicator. These are aspects that future employers will appreciate and recognize when applying for a new position or building your career within an organization.