Emails are the cornerstone of modern business communication and are often the primary means of communication between you and a potential employer. Since an email is usually the only interaction an industry professional has with you, it can create a significant first impression, for better or worse. When sending an email to a professional in your industry, it is important to acknowledge what type of email you are sending and ensure the email has maximum impact.
Three Types of Emails
Emails to industry professionals traditionally fall under these three categories during different stages of a professional relationship.
- The Introduction Email: This type of email is sent before meeting the recipient in person. It can be sent because of a reference or just as a cold email. The sender gives an introduction, often times incorporating an elevator pitch, and explains why he or she is reaching out to the recipient.
- The Follow Up Email: This type of email is usually sent after an in-person meeting with an industry professional. The sender thanks the professional for his or her time and expresses gratitude for his or her advice, time or consideration. This type of email reminds the recipient of the sender, so the recipient is more likely to remember the sender in the future.
- The Keeping in Touch Email: This type of email is usually sent one to six months after the initial meeting or introduction email takes place. The purpose of this email is to briefly highlight the sender’s recent accomplishments and goals, as well as follow up on any goals the recipient mentioned during the previous interaction. This not only keeps the connection alive, but also shows demonstrated interest in both the company and genuine care for the employer.
Writing the Email
There are three main considerations to keep in mind in order to maximize the impact of each of these email types.
- Keep it Short: By keeping emails short and concise, the recipient is more likely to take the time to read it and respond to it.
- Be Clear: When the recipient finishes reading your email, he or she should know your exact intentions – whether it is an introduction, a thank you or a friendly career update. Clarity can be achieved through eloquent writing that is easy to read with no typos or grammar errors.
- Be Considerate: A small touch of personalization can go a long way. When keeping in touch with a professional, ending emails with one really good question about his or her career journey or company will show intentionality and care. Doing this also provides a clear and simple direction for the recipient’s response.
A “Keeping in Touch Email” that follows the above tips might look something like this:
Hello Mr. Angelo,
I hope all is well with you. How was your trip to Europe? I’m hoping to travel there soon, so I can only imagine how wonderful it was.
I wanted to reach out and update you on some exciting experiences I’ve had since we last talked in January. I was recently accepted as an intern in Paramount’s marketing division for this summer, which I’m incredibly excited about. My position begins in June, and I will have the opportunity to assist with marketing for their upcoming projects. Additionally, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I want to pursue marketing with studio feature films instead of commercials like I originally thought. With this new change in mind, I’m really looking forward to what I’ll learn at Paramount and to see if feature film marketing is the place for me.
Again, I cannot express how formative my internship at your company was and how I would not be where I am today without it. How is “Edge of Salvation” going? Were you able to lock a director?
The Effects of a Good Email
A well-written email can go a long way. Every email is an opportunity to showcase your communication skills and education, but more importantly to build relationships. Additionally, an email can demonstrate your interest and ambition, which is always attractive to potential employers. An eloquent introduction, a meaningful thank you and a considerate career update reaffirm the recipient’s memory of you and may provide an opportunity to utilize the connection in the future.
Writing a good email is a necessary skill for any industry and a good opportunity to network. So don’t be afraid to send emails to connections you have, connections you recently made and connections you want to make – doing so could be the next step in advancing your career journey.
If you need any help writing emails, the Career Center would love to connect with you. Schedule an appointment today!