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Email writing 101

Updated: Jul 5, 2019

Forget Indonesian and French; schools should be teaching the language of emails! Boring and dry maybe, but important if you score that dream job. Google 'how to write an email' and you will get the generic 'proofread', or the vague 'write your message clearly.' So I've put together some pointers that I wish I had before sending my first-ever email *cringe*


No-one likes the awkward feeling when your finger accidentally presses send before you have finished writing! AND on top of that, from the 12789 recalls I have tried, only 2 actually worked! So my top tip is to enter your recipient LAST. every. time. always.


Email signatures are so under-rated. They take around about 2-seconds to make, and will impress your fellow email-language pros. Name Role/position Organisation Email Phone Any additional information eg. 'I am out of office on Mondays and Tuesdays' or a quote that inspires you Below are some do's and dont's. Simply swap out the ✖ phrases for the ✔ ones. Can you notice the difference in tone? ✖ Yea I know my work is late/overdue/dragging out (whoops) ✔ 'thanks for your patience'

✖ I know how to fix this/I don't agree with you ✔ 'I think it'd best if we..'

✖ No-one's told me anything/what work hasn't been done? ✔ 'when can I expect an update?'

✖ You never fit in with my schedule/I always have to work around you ✔ 'could you do _:_?' ✖ My bad for stuffing up/I'm stupid ✔ 'thanks for letting me know! Updated file attached' ✖ Hope that makes sense/know what I mean? ✔ 'let me know if you have any questions'

✖ Cheers/no stress/no drama ✔ 'always happy to help!'


Finally, if you are spending your lunch break trying to word an email because it just doesn't feel right, maybe it is best to have a chat with the recipient in person #oldschool


Simone recently completed the Australian Writers' Centre Professional Business Writing Course, and is a member of Writing NSW.


email language is a whole other world




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