You only have one chance to make a first impression. How you communicate is a way to make an impression, either positive or negative. Professionally, communication may be in person, over the phone, in video meetings (like Zoom), over email, or even how you communicate on public social media sites. You use professional communication when networking, job searching, and any other time you are speaking to someone about your professional experiences and goals.
When you email a new contact, anyone whom you do not know very well, a professor, or someone in a professional position, there are several pieces that your email should include:
Email Address: A professional email address: your Emerson college email is acceptable OR if you prefer to use a personal email address with your name. For example: first.last [at] gmail.com or lastfirst [at] gmail.com.
Greeting: It is best to start an email with a professional greeting. For example: Dear or Hello, Ms./Mx./Mr.
Subject Line: A line that states the purpose for the communication. For example: Request for Informational Interview or Follow Up From ____.
Body: A short paragraph stating who you are, where you received or found their contact information, and why you are emailing them. It’s helpful to have a request or action that provides a purpose for the email.
Closing: End an email with a professional closing and your first and last name. For example: Sincerely or Best or Thank you.
Example of Email Communication
My name is Rory Gilmore. I am currently a first-year student attending Emerson College majoring in Media Arts Production and I am looking to speak to alumni who work in film production.
I am interested in speaking with you as I saw that you have produced horror films, which is my area of interest. I produced a few short films in my film club in high school, and I am looking forward to getting more involved in similar organizations at Emerson.
I would love to learn more about your work experience and any advice you may have for a new student like me to make the most out of my time at Emerson. If you’re willing to chat, could you provide me with three dates and times that fit your schedule?
Thank you in advance and I look forward to hearing from you.
For guidance and more personalized questions, contact your career advisor.
- Respond promptly within a few days, especially if your request is timely!
- Reread your emails for any grammatical or formatting errors. Being detail-oriented is a valuable skill.
- Email is a more formal platform. Use it as such.