Email Etiquette

Communicating via email is the common method of official professional communication. When communicating via email, your message may be contained in the body of the email or as attachments.  Either way, it is vital to know how to write an effective email message that is courteous and professional. This is especially important when communicating with potential employers and other professionals.

  • Include a courteous greeting and closing and use the contact's name (Ex: Dear Ms. Smith)
  • Spell check, spell check, spell check
  • Follow proper rules of grammar
  • Take time to review the email before sending to ensure the purpose is clear and your tone will be clearly interpreted


Tips for Email Communication to Employers

Keep it brief.  Employers are busy and don’t have time to read a long email from every potential candidate they meet or interview. Be sure to keep your email brief and to the point.

Express gratitude.  It is always important to thank the employer for their time and to let them know how much you enjoyed your interactions with the organization. 

Personalize.  If there was a particular part of the conversation you enjoyed, bring it up. This will assist the employer with remembering the interactions they had with you whether it be during an interview or at a career fair.   

Edit, edit, edit.  Errors demonstrate your lack of interest and respect to the employer. Take time to read through your email several times and correct all errors.

Thank You Letter

It is standard to send a thank you letter within 24 hours following an interview.  The letter should be short, but reiterate your interest in the position and detail some specifics about your conversation.  You may also send this type of letter after meeting someone at a career fair to keep communication going, or even after meeting someone informally whom you would like to stay in contact with further.


Offer Acceptance

After a formal written offer has been extended and you make the decision to accept, you may do so formally by writing a letter of acceptance, or signing the written offer.  If sending a letter, it should be short, 1-2 paragraphs, and convey your excitement for the opportunity. 

Offer Rejection

Conducting a job search means applying for multiple opportunities, which may result in you doing multiple interviews and receiving multiple offers.  Or, you may have received one offer, but decide that it isn’t a good fit.  Whatever the situation, you should formally decline the offer in writing.  Keep the declination short and to the point, and convey respect and appreciation.  There is no need to detail your specific reasons in the letter.  It is important to inform the employer as soon as you make a final decision, and not string them along.