Today I’m going to share with you how I helped a friend write a better email.
For as long as I can remember, people have always asked me to help with their English.
The other day, I received a nice comment on Facebook from an old friend:
“Amnah, I still remember that you always used to help me with my assignments back in university. You corrected my English, and sometimes you even translated my sentences. Thanks. I still remember it till today.”
It was nice to read that, because I didn’t remember that particular incident! SO many friends have asked for my help, especially in their writing.
I’ve always loved writing. I used to write stories as a kid, and now I continue to write emails for you here at My English Matters.
And it’s something I will share more of in our online course, Communicate with Confidence (CWC), as a bonus! We can’t wait to have you join us when we open registration again in 2020.
Now, if you enjoy reading the emails I send, I’m going to share with you one VERY important tip to help you write better emails.
And I’m going to do that by sharing a real-life example. It’s an email I helped another old friend with.
Are you ready? Let’s do this.
A few years back, my good friend, let’s call her Nina, asked me to look at an email cover letter she had sent to a prospective employer. She asked me what I thought and was wondering why the employer did not get back to her.
This is what she wrote to the employer*:
Dear Ms Priya Khan,
I’m interested to work as a part-time consultant at your good company should there be any post available.
Please find attached my letter of application and resume for your review.
Hope to hear from you in future.
*Names and other job details have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals. 🙂
When I read it, I had a total facepalm moment. You know that facepalm emoji? Yeah, that one.
First of all, Nina is a very good friend of mine. My facepalm reference is not to put her down, but it’s how I reacted because I KNOW Nina is super smart, talented and this email did her no justice at all!
A cover letter is basically a letter or email where you’re supposed to introduce yourself to your prospective employer and attach your resume.
Now, I’m guessing you would put a lot of work into creating an awesome resume. But what’s the point if nobody even opens the attachment?
The secret to getting people to open your attached resume is:
Your cover letter has to be as impressive as your resume!
Because it’s the first thing people read!
In this day and age, people get dozens, maybe even HUNDREDS of emails a day. So your email has to capture the attention of your reader.
This is what I wrote back to Nina:
Currently, your email cover letter sounds too formal, try to make it sound more cordial and confident. You can try working on this example:
Dear Ms Priya Khan,
I am writing to apply for the position of part-time consultant at <name of company>.
I am interested to take up this role part-time as I am currently a full-time student, pursuing a Master of Sciences degree in <name of study>.
Prior to my current role as a student, I worked at xxx for xxx years. <Then put in brief description of your working history>
I believe this role will be suitable for me as I am <put in your strengths suitable for this job. Example: fast learner> and I have experience in <a skill or task relevant to the job>.
I look forward to discussing my qualifications further and can be reached by email at <email address> or by phone at <phone number>.
Please find attached my resume for your perusal.
Thank you so much for your time.
Do you see the difference? I didn’t want to write the whole email for her, but I gave her some important parts to fill in.
So based on the example above, the VERY IMPORTANT tip that I want to share is this:
Whenever you write an email to someone, you have to capture the attention of your reader.
You have to show WHY the reader should do something that you want them to do.
In Nina’s case, she has to show WHY Ms Priya should hire Nina. These would be Nina’s strengths or her previous experience that is relevant to the job.
So there you have it, . This post is quite long, but I’ve seen so many people make these kinds of mistakes when they write emails.
It results in lost opportunities for work, clients and maybe even lost income.
I hope it’s been helpful and I hope you’ll remember this tip the next time you write an important email. I’ll talk to you again soon.
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