Many students don’t realize they can reach out to professionals with questions or to meet up and talk about what they do. It’s a great way to network and get your foot in the door before you even graduate.
The problem is, many students don’t know how to approach sending professionals emails. Below are 7 tips to help you get started:
1) Use the Subject Line to get the point across: The subject line is helpful in creating meaning and priming your reader for what the email will contain. Make sure your subject line not only grabs the person you’re writing to’s attention, but also gives them a clear idea of what they’ll be reading about.
2) Be Aware of Your Audience: Know who you are talking to; use the correct level of formality. Be polite and use courteous greetings. It’s important when writing to a professional that you know some of the work they did. Show that you did your research on a person – your email should be tailored to your audience – it shouldn’t feel generic or canned.
3) Be Concise and to the Point: Keep you email down to the most important points:
- Who are you?
- Why should they care?
- What do you want?
- How does it benefit them?
Remember that professionals don’t have all the time in the world to read and respond to emails. Make sure you make their life easier: keep your message short and to the point.
4) Include a “full” signature: As students, things to include might be your school, major, Twitter handle, LinkedIn Account, and any other sites where you can be reached or that show off your work/accomplishments. It’s also important to remember to hyperlink your social networks in your signature so people can easily find out what they need to about you in one click.
5) Read Your Email Before Hitting Send: Re-read your email to check for tone. Are you getting your intended message across? Avoid any embarrassments and make sure you are saying exactly what you want to say in the way you want to say it. Messages are in the small details so make sure you proofread as well. Proper use of grammar, spelling, and punctuation are indicators of a well-educated and thorough student.
6) Follow Up: Remember that professionals are busy and may not have a chance to respond back to you right away. There’s no harm in following up. If a week passes by with no reply, follow up. It shows you’re on top of things and take what you’re doing seriously.
7) Say Thank You: After you get in touch with a professional, always thank them for taking the time to correspond with you. Be polite and keep the connection open for future communication.
Emailing is a crucial way to communicate in today’s digital world. Follow these 7 steps and you’ll be on your way to professional level networking success.