5 mins read

Your Guide to Mastering Email Etiquette

Mastering email etiquette is crucial for any and all aspiring professionals. In an increasingly digitised world, we often e-meet people before meeting them in real life. Thus, your first email impression needs to make a real impact (for all the right reasons)!

Luckily for you, we’ve put together a little guide to making sure you’re never caught out by spelling, grammar, or inappropriate colloquialisms. If you want to master email communication like the pros, read on; this one’s for you!

Why Email Etiquette is So Important

Picture this: you’ve just received an invitation to interview for a position with your dream company. They’ve sent you an email saying how impressed they are with your resume and provided a list of available interview slots for you to choose from. You feel the excitement pulsing through your veins, and in your attempt to reply promptly, you fire out an email without conducting a final proofread. After the window of opportunity to unsend the email passes, you navigate back to your sent folder just to see this monstrosity:

Hi Jane!!

Thamks so very much for getting back to me! I can make any time work.. Jus let me know when works best fore you. I am so excited to speek with you!


[Your name here]


While this example is pretty extreme, most of us have been caught out by our desire to reply promptly. A couple of minor spelling or grammar mistakes might not seem like a big deal, but in a professional environment, it could imply that you’re just not that great with the details. Trust us, employers want you to be great with details. 

Need to prep for an upcoming interview? 

Grammar, Spelling, and Structure Tips

When you’re super excited about a potential career opportunity, it can be tough to practice self-restraint and give your reply a once-over. However, proofreading and editing are crucial for professional communication and making a good e-impression! Before firing off your email into the ether, make sure you’ve followed the following steps:

Ask Yourself: Did You Read Their Email Thoroughly?

Read and re-read the sender’s email; a quick once-over or scan simply isn’t enough. To avoid missing crucial information or misinterpreting the email, take a moment to carefully read and analyse the sender’s message. Otherwise, you might end up writing a totally redundant email and making a not-so-great impression; it’s basic email etiquette

Lock Down Your Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation

The nuances of the English language aren’t something that everyone fully understands, and that’s okay. You don’t need to be an English professor to make sure an email is clear, correct, and readable. Suggest replacing with: Instead, use your computer’s spell check function, or for an extra level of accuracy, run your email through Grammarly before sending it. Trust us, spell-checking services are the backbone of professional communication.

Have Someone Else Proofread Your Work

When we’ve carefully crafted a piece of writing, it can be easy to miss our own glaring mistakes. To avoid editing biases, have a friend or family member read over it; two pairs of eyes are always better than one. 

Email Like a Pro: Tone and Language Tips

Once you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to establish a fitting tone for business communication. You want to sound professional, direct, intelligent, and capable and with this list of tips, it shouldn’t be hard. 

Forgo Colloquialisms

Firing out a casual ‘LOL’ or ‘ROFL’ to your friends over DM is totally fine, but leave those acronyms in your social media chats; business professionals don’t need, or want, to see them. By using professional language, you’re putting your best foot forward and making sure you leave a lasting impression. P.S. Ditch the emojis too, especially if you haven’t established rapport yet. 

Ease Up on Expressive Punctuation

Receiving an interview or job offer feels exciting enough to justify triple exclamation marks!!! However, for good email etiquette, try dialling it back to just one. Sentences such as “I would be thrilled to accept your offer of employment!” and “I look forward to meeting with you!” are acceptable if you have read the tone of your employer correctly; just don’t overdo it. 

Matching Their Tone

On the topic of exclamation marks (and best practice for professional communication), the safest option is to stick to full stops and express your enthusiasm through your words. Some managers don’t like an overly conversational tone; you can usually spot these types of professionals from their formal tone of writing. However, if you’re communicating with a friendly and expressive manager, feel free to match their tone! To figure out when to employ the formal and expressive tones, check out these examples of emails you might receive: 

1. Hi [your name],

It was great meeting you on Monday for your interview! The hiring team was really impressed by your experience and capabilities, and we would love to offer you the role!

We’ll be in touch over the next few days with further details, but we’re looking forward to working with you. 


Hiring Manager

Tone Match: Expressive

With enthusiastic hiring managers like this one, it’s fine to send back an exclamation point (singular!) when replying to their email. They’re clearly excited, so feel free to show them that you’re excited too!

2. Good Afternoon [your name], 

Thank you for making the time to meet with us last week. We have since had the opportunity to deliberate on the best fit for our company, and we would like to offer you the role. We will be in touch with further details in the next couple of days. 

Kind Regards, 

Hiring Manager

Tone Match: Formal

Notice the lack of exclamation marks? You should have! If you fire back an overly expressive email to hiring manager #2, you risk being seen as unprofessional or unable to read the room. Keep it formal. 

While these are two obvious examples, some emails walk the line between both tones. In these cases, it’s best to keep it professional. It’s always the safest option. 

Be Direct and Concise

Some of us are prone to extra yapping or waffling during interpersonal interactions, but it’s important to dial it back when drafting email communication. Professionals want to see that you can stay on task, get to the point and communicate maturely. The best way to do so is by stripping your email of any unnecessary excess; it’ll save all parties a lot of time. 

Reply Promptly, But Don’t Rush

While we’ve stressed the importance of double and triple-checking your emails before hitting send, it’s equally important not to keep the sender waiting for too long. The golden rule is to reply within 24 hours; if it takes longer than that, you might want to start with an apology. 

Mastering Subject Lines and Signoffs

Once you have the body of your email looking perfect, you want to make sure that all of the other elements measure up too!

When replying to a business email, you won’t have to worry too much about a subject line. However, if you’re the first to reach out, it’s incredibly important! Make sure your subject line is clear and concise and describes exactly what you’re going to be talking about. For example, if you’re following up after an interview, all you need to write is “Interview Follow Up.” There’s no need to overcomplicate it!

Regarding email sign-offs, you’re spoilt for choice. To save you the hassle of thinking up your own, take a look at some of our go-to’s.

  • Regards
  • Best wishes
  • Sincerely
  • I look forward to hearing from you
  • Thank you for your time
  • Have a wonderful day

Then simply add a comma and type your name on the next line:

Kind Regards,

The Explore Careers Team

While these are some of our favourites, feel free to make your signoff your own (as long as it’s not too informal)!

Start Practicing Today

With all of these top tips under your belt, you’re well on your way to mastering email etiquette. All you need to do now is practice, practice, practice!

Have an interview you need to prepare for? Ace Your Next Job Interview with These Top Tips!


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