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Strategies for Sending Effective Emails

March 2019 By Kim Tang 

We’ve all been there — staring blankly at an email, trying to figure out how to go about writing it. The Career Center has compiled some typical emails you may have to write, and ways to go about structuring them. Keep reading for our tips and tricks!

Writing a Thank You Email

You may have finished your interview, but you haven’t really finished your interview process until after you send a thank you letter (you should always ask for a business card or email at the end of the interview for this reason)! Thank you letters aren’t just good etiquette, but also a great way to show what you took away from the conversation and to reiterate some of your skills to the hiring manager again. Here are some tips for your thank you letter:

  1. If you were interviewed by more than one person, send each of them a separate thank you email, and try to make them a little bit different from each other. You don’t want to send them both the same email — it seems disingenuous.
  2. Thank the interviewer for their time and express your appreciation for the interview/the chance to talk to them.
  3. Reference a detail of the conversation you found interesting! This shows you were paying attention to the conversation, and adds a bit of personalization into your email.
  4. Thank them again and reiterate your interest in the position.

After that comes the hardest part — waiting.

Responding to an Acceptance Letter

Congratulations! If you received an offer for the position, you should still send a follow up email to discuss the position. If you’re considering the position, some things you may want to ask before accepting the position are:

  1. When is your start date and is your start date flexible?
  2. What is the starting salary? Is your salary negotiable?
  3. What benefits are the employer offering? (health insurance, dental, vision, 401k or other retirement plans, etc.)

For more things to consider before accepting a position, check out our Handbook as well. And if you aren’t accepting the position, thank the employer for their time and the opportunity to work with them, but that at this moment, you won’t be accepting the offer. No matter what, thank the employer — maintaining a positive rapport can go a long way!

Handling a Rejection Letter

Unfortunately, rejections do happen. It may be difficult, but this doesn’t have to be the end! Even if you aren’t offered the position, you may still be able to stay in touch with your interviewer, and apply again next year.

Thank the interviewer for their time and the opportunity to chat with them. You can use this email to ask some questions about what you can improve on for the future. This isn’t the time to ask why you didn’t get the position, but rather what are some skills you should refine for if you want to apply again. Not only is feedback important for growth, but it’ll show the interviewer you were serious about the position and want to try again.

Rejection is, sadly, a part of the process but if you can view it in a learning framework, you’ll be able to improve for next time.

We hope these tips are useful for you as you begin emailing employers and interviewers! Emails may seem complicated at first, but after a few of them, it’ll be second nature.

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