Email Etiquette

Email Etiquette

Email Etiquette

Email etiquette is an unspoken code. So, we've deciphered it for you...

The Subject Line

Keep it short and simple.

Always use a clear and direct subject line which summarises or describes the content of the email.  Never leave the subject line blank and rather use it to organise messages for people with overcrowded inboxes.

The Email Body

Use a professional salutation.

For most emails “Hi” or “Hello” will suffice, but for more formal emails, use “Dear (insert name)”. Using the recipient’s name in the salutation is important and never shorten a person’s name unless they have given you permission to do so. 

Stick to the point and keep it short.

Many professionals get inundated with emails daily, therefore it is important to keep your emails short and to the point. 

But don’t be too concise.

Never give one-word responses as this can be considered rude and unprofessional. As far as possible, try to respond with full sentences.

The Sign-Off / Signature

Keep your closing simple.

Adjust your closing to suit the intended recipient, but in a professional capacity it may be best to stick to “Best wishes” or “Kind regards”.

Keep your signature simple, too.

There is no need for coloured pictures or deep, meaningful quotes - just stick to your name and contact details. And, always include your phone number!

Best Practices

Know the “cc” rule and abide by it.

The main recipients of an email who are expected to respond go in the “to” field, and the other recipients who are not expected to respond but were included as a courtesy or for their information, should go into the “cc” field.

Double check that you are sending the email to the correct recipient.

Make sure to pay careful attention when adding an email address in the “To” field as some computers automatically generate the last / most common email address from memory. Nothing is worse or more unprofessional than sending an email to the wrong person!

Use the “Reply to All” function sparingly.

Some recipients may get annoyed when they receive answers or correspondence that is not pertinent to them or doesn’t require them to respond.

What are your email etiquette tips? Let us know in the comments below, we'd love to hear them.




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Yolande Henning

Yolande is the Candidate Manager for our Temporary & Contract Solutions team. Prior to joining one eighty, Yolande was a Recruiter in South Africa, where she developed her relationship building and match-making skills. She truly understands her candidate’s and client’s needs in order to ensure the perfect match is made – even for short-term assignments. Her attention to detail and ability to build strong relationships, coupled with her strong desire to help people, enables her to assist candidates in finding their perfect career fit. Outside of work Yolande really enjoys hiking, reading and spending time with her family!

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