printable banner

U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

E-Mail Correspondence


Share

For most of us, sending and receiving e-mail is simple and fun. While we are unguarded in our tone when we e-mail family and friends, a professional tone should be maintained when communicating with prospective employers.

E-mail is a powerful tool in the hands of a knowledgeable job-seeker. Use it wisely and you will shine. Use it improperly, however, and you will brand yourself as immature and unprofessional. Try to succinctly get your point across - then end the e-mail.

Be aware that electronic mail is often the preferred method of communication between job-seeker and employer. There are general guidelines that should be followed when e-mailing cover letters, thank-you notes and replies to various requests for information. Apply the following advice to every e-mail you write:

  • Choose your own e-mail address carefully.
  • Use a meaningful subject header for your e-mail - one that is appropriate to the topic.
  • Always be professional and businesslike in your correspondence. Address the recipient as Dr., Mr., Mrs., or Ms. and always verify the correct spelling of the recipient's name.
  • Be brief in your communications. Do not overload the employer with lots of questions in your e-mail.
  • Do NOT use symbols or emoticons in your e-mail communications.
  • Do NOT use strange fonts, wallpapers, or multicolored backgrounds.
  • Add a signature to your e-mail that includes your full name, address, phone number and e-mail address.
  • Avoid using slang.
  • Be sure to proofread and spell-check your e-mail before sending it.

Your e-mails say far more about you than you might realize, and it is important to always present a polished, professional image - even if you are sending your phone number and a time when you can be contacted.

THANK YOU NOTES

If you have had an interview with a prospective employer, a thank you note is a good way to express your appreciation. The note needs only to be a few sentences long. Remember, a thank you note is just that - a simple way to say thank you. This gesture is sure to make a good impression on your prospective employer.

Excerpted from NewsLinks, a publication of International Schools Services.

 



Back to Top
Sign-in

Do you already have an account on one of these sites? Click the logo to sign in and create your own customized State Department page. Want to learn more? Check out our FAQ!

OpenID is a service that allows you to sign in to many different websites using a single identity. Find out more about OpenID and how to get an OpenID-enabled account.