Email Writing Skills: Definition and Examples
Writing successful emails can help you improve your business reputation, communicate your thoughts and ideas effectively and provide meaningful correspondence to those who need your advice or input. Developing your writing skills can take careful time and work, but doing so can help boost the quality of your professional and personal communications. If you're interested in writing better emails, it's helpful to review the skills you can work on and how you can share those skills with employers during the hiring process.
In this article, we explain what email writing skills are, list examples of skills that can help you in your electronic correspondence, offer advice for improving your skills, provide tips for using skills in the workplace and list ways you can highlight your email writing proficiency throughout the job application process.
What are email writing skills?
Email writing skills are aptitudes that can help you create meaningful correspondence with professional and personal connections electronically. By developing your email writing skills, you can start writing better emails that communicate your points more succinctly, accurately represent your comprehension and intelligence and minimize the number of unnecessary responses. Email writing skills are like communication skills, but because they involve written responses, they can take extra time and care to develop.
Examples of email writing skills
Here are some examples of skills that can make you better at writing emails:
One of the most important skills that can influence the success of your emails is communication. When writing emails, it's essential to include ideas as succinctly as possible. Often, your audience won't take the time to read the entirety of a lengthy response, and they might not see critical information. Learning to synthesize your ideas and communicate important points effectively can make it easier to maximize the efficiency of your correspondence.
Attention to detail
Attention to detail is another crucial email writing skill. It applies to both your own writing and your comprehension of others' messages. In your own writing, noticing minor details can help you find grammatical errors, typos or missing information quickly. Thoroughly reading the emails you're responding to can also help ensure you address every relevant point in someone else's email.
Writing skills are very important when writing emails. Your writing skills can help you communicate your thoughts well and can also influence your use of spelling and grammar. Developing your writing skills can make your emails easier to read and less prone to typos, which can distract your reader and prevent them from understanding the full value of your message.
Time management is also an essential skill related to email writing. Often, especially in a professional setting, you might have to respond to multiple emails a day. Learning to write effective and professional correspondence quickly can increase your productivity and show your email recipient you value their time.
How to improve your email writing skills
If you're interested in improving your email writing skills, here are some steps you can take:
1. Download a grammar extension
You can find extensions for your computer that scan your emails for typos, grammatical mistakes and ineffective language. These extensions can be valuable tools for fixing your writing quickly and catching errors you may have missed while proofreading. While extensions can be helpful tools, their suggestions aren't always correct. Be sure to proofread your writing rather than relying entirely on a spell-checking app or extension.
2. Proofread your work
Reading your email before you send it can help you find errors or awkward language in your writing. If you rewrote a section of your email, spend extra time looking at the rewritten sentences when you do your review. It's common for people to repeat words or to leave partial sentences in their writing. If you're emailing an important business colleague or contact, consider asking someone else to read over the email before you send it to its final destination.
3. Review common grammar and spelling mistakes
If you notice a repeat suggestion from an extension or know you struggle with common grammatical errors, review writing rules to help you learn the correct way to write certain words or phrases. Common mistakes include misusing forms of your, their and to. Realizing common mistakes can make them easier to identify in your own writing.
4. Slow down
While you might feel rushed to respond to an email, slowing down can help you save valuable time. When you respond too quickly to an email, you risk forgetting important information. You might spend more time sending clarifying emails or correcting a miscommunication. By slowing down, you can ensure you communicate all your points effectively.
Email writing skills in the workplace
Here are some tips that can help you maximize your email writing skills in the workplace:
Treat every email the same
While you might feel less pressure to use good grammar and structure in your informal emails, try to maintain professionalism in your writing no matter the recipient. This can help you develop good habits and make it easier to write successful emails without thinking too hard. Strive to keep every email professional, typo-free and succinct, whether it's going to the CEO of a company or a close friend.
Prioritize reading the email you're responding to
If you're responding to a request for input or information, take time to read your sender's email thoroughly. Ensure you answered every question and understood the intent of their communication. This can save you valuable time and show your recipient you cared to prioritize their message and their needs.
Limit the number of emails you send from your phone
If you send emails from your phone, consider adding a custom message that explains to your reader that your message might have typos since it's coming from a phone. Because most phones have small screens and keyboards, it can be more challenging to type clear and correct messages. Try to send emails from your computer so you can catch errors more effectively and write more thoughtful responses.
How to highlight your email writing skills
Email writing skills can be very desirable to employers because they show you can represent the company well, that you're an excellent communicator and that you care about the quality of what you produce. Here's how you can highlight your skills at various stages in the hiring process:
Highlighting email writing skills on a resume
You can include information about your email writing skills in your professional summary or on the skills section of your resume. You might choose to list a broader category that better describes the full range of your skills on your resume. For example, you might say that you're an excellent communicator or that you possess advanced writing skills. Both statements imply you're also good at writing emails and can further inform hiring managers of your desirable attributes.
Highlighting email writing skills in a cover letter
If the position you're applying for relates directly to writing or email correspondence, you can include a sentence about your email writing skills in your cover letter. You can also choose to write something more generic like you did when highlighting your email writing skills on your resume. Telling prospective employers you're an effective communicator or that you have above-average writing skills can be a good way to attract their attention.
How you write your cover letter can also show your skills. Show your writing skills through the writing of your cover letter. Ensure your letter is professional, well-written and typo-free. This can help you prove your skills without taking up valuable space within your letter.
Related: 10 Skills for Cover Letters
Highlighting email writing skills in an interview
Interviews can be a great place to highlight your email writing skills specifically. In your interview, you might hear the common interview question, "what are your strengths?" This can be a great place to talk about your email writing skills, especially if the role you're applying for frequently uses email. Explain the value you place in written correspondence and your dedication to representing yourself and your company well through your emails and communications.
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