Just last month, we asked you what you most wanted to read about in our News Section, and you responded loud and clear with 'More advice and tips around finding a job, please!'. With over 70% of you feeling you needed a bit of help to point you in the right direction, we'll be dedicating more space to exactly these kinds of topics written by bonafide life and career coaches in the coming months.
Kicking off, here's some advice from Dawn Metcalfe (who you may remember delivered a kick ass session at our Conference recently!) around actually getting a response to the dozens of emails you probably send about jobs. Managing Director of PDSi, Dawn is an executive coach, trainer, facilitator, leadership advisor and author. Her latest book is HardTalk, a guide to having the difficult conversations needed for success. Here she shares her 9 tips on writing effective emails in order to help you navigate the inbox maze.
"Communicating via email isn’t hard; most of us send and receive dozens and probably hundreds of emails every week. Doing it well is what’s difficult. Here are 9 tips on how to write better emails so that they are read and acted on. And don't annoy others. These tips apply to professional correspondence but many of them work with personal emails too.
1) Use the subject line
Many people waste the subject line. They put “hi” or “Meeting tomorrow” or nothing at all. Mysteries are entertaining and useful in some cases but not a good idea in an email. The subject line is your first opportunity to get attention, tell people why they should read your email and what you want. Try something like” DECISION NEEDED: Picking the corporate logo today” or “HELP WANTED: need to promote my blog” where the action required or major point is CAPPED. If your email doesn't ask the person reading it to do something then ask yourself why you are sending it.
2) Put the important information at the top
As in a newspaper story, put the most important details at the beginning of your mail and then flesh out the details. Your correspondent is probably very busy so help them by giving the information you need them to have first.
3) Stay on topic
If you need to talk about 3 different things then send 3 different emails. It makes it easier for your correspondent to read and for you to find the email again in the future.
4) Keep it short
Many of us are reading emails on a mobile phone and even a short email can seem very long when read like that. If people need more information they will ask.
5) Be respectful of your reader's time
An alarming number of emails sent are cc'd or FYI only, clogging up inboxes and creating information overload. Consider who really needs to be in the loop and don't forward emails with "thoughts?" - explain what you want and your own thinking too.
6) Think of the future
Remember that anything you write is likely to be kept somewhere. This is true even if you think you've deleted it. Don't write anything that you would be embarrassed to share with your co-workers, clients and superiors. Or your family!
7) Ask yourself if email is the right medium
Sometimes a phone call or a face-to-face will be faster and easier than an endless back and forth by email. Don't forget you have an option and don't ever use email because you are trying to avoid a difficult conversation.
8) Think about their reaction
We are often so focused on what we want to say that we forget about how it will be received. Because there is no body language or tone of voice people will read into the email things you may not mean. If there is any possibility that you could be misunderstood pick up the phone or see the person.
9) Close the loops
We put ourselves into email circles by leaving open loops through too many open-ended questions. Instead, give some specific options and allow people to agree or disagree. You won't seem bossy and you'll save everyone time and energy."
Thanks for taking the time to read this post. What do you think? Do these ideas make sense? What have we forgotten? We'd love to hear your views.
This article was first published via LinkedIn.