January 5, 2015
Even though as betches, we love not doing work, we also love being #bossbetches, which means that from time to time we need to make it look like we are doing work. Meaning we want people to take us seriously, even if we don’t ourselves. The best way to get someone to do what you want professionally is learning how to write a solid email. Even if you’re on drunk text level with your boss, emails are the prime method of communication for the sole reason of being able to follow-up.
This shouldn’t even be mentioned, but if your email has anything other than your name, initials, or company in it, you should really consider changing it. No matter how professional and charming your latest email about your charity fundraising goal is, if it’s from [email protected], it’s going into spam. This is really common sense, but for some reason there is always a friend who has that one email they never changed. They claim it’s because it’s too hard to migrate their email, or they’re just lazy, but just imagine if your gynecologist’s email was [email protected], would you let him put you in stirrups?
When it comes to the body of the email, you should start with a greeting. If you are on familiar terms with a colleague, use their first name. “Hi Michael” or “Dear Jackie” work fine. Avoid “hey”, “yo”, and “sup” #fuckingduh. But seriously… capitalize your shit. It takes 30 seconds longer to use proper grammer on your phone, but it’s worth it. If this is a cold email, you can always use “Dear Sir or Madam” but generally speaking, people hate “To Whom It May Concern” because excuse me, I am not concerned with your shit. Sir or Madam is fine if you really can’t find a name, but if you’re inquiring about jobs and shit, try to always get the name of the hiring manager or at least a title.
Keep your emails to the point. I mean, there’s a point you’re writing it. Get to it. Start with a “Hope you’re well” is fine, but like unless you really care how they’re doing, just keep it straightforward. If you’re asking someone to do something for you, ask politely, but don’t make it an option. Give them a deadline so they know when you need it by. Then, make sure you send a follow up email if they don’t respond within a few days (or whatever).
For example, if you’re like trying to get some feedback on a presentation you’re writing, you might say,
Hope you’re well. Mr. Johnson asked me to prepare a presentation for the 3pm meeting on Thursday 1/31, and I’d like to get some feedback from you. Since you are the chair of the environmental department, would you mind looking over the attached document to make sure I have included all relevant information regarding our carbon footprint last year? I’d like to implement the changes by Tuesday before the meeting, so if you could send me any notes by Monday EOD that would be great. Thank you kindly.”
Ugh, I just pulled that bullshit out of thin air, but you get the point. Regardless, very dry stuff guys. When it comes to sounding professional, the key is to avoid frills. Keep it light on exclamation points, run-ons, or any tangential information. And, definitely do not include inspirational quotes, this isn’t a yoga class. But, seriously.
Finally, make sure you title your email with a subject that’s easy to understand. If there’s a few back-and-forth replys, it will help you keep the thread organized. Especially when it comes to looking like you’re doing work, a thread showing your follow-ups (which takes like 0 seconds to do) will make you look better than your co-workers that like, can’t keep their shit together. Proofread yourself to make sure you’re not spelling something obviously wrong. Sign that shit, and hit send. You're welcome.