Cornell University

Email Etiquette

It is becoming increasingly common to send some of your communications with employers via e-mail. Even though you may typically use a casual tone in your e-mail messages, remember that the language in job-related messages should be more formal. In addition, keep these guidelines in mind:

If you will be communicating with employers via e-mail, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Use an appropriate subject header.
  • Include your cover letter and resume within the body of your message, since employers may not be able to open attachments.
  • Begin your message with “Dear Mr./Ms.” and spell the recipient’s name correctly.
  • Introduce yourself early in the message and state your reason for writing.
  • Be professional and positive; the language in job-related messages should be more formal than in other e-mail messages.
  • Avoid strange fonts, distractions at the bottom of your messages such as cute signatures or quotes, and symbols sometimes used in messages sent to family or friends.
  • Keep your message brief; don’t ask a number of questions or ramble on.
  • Proofread your message carefully before sending it to avoid spelling or grammatical errors, formatting problems, etc.
  • Type your full name to “sign” your e-mail.