Working as a virtual assistant requires constant correspondence with colleagues. This is a given since without communication, nothing would be accomplished, even the mere relay of tasks.
However, correspondence at work is not as simple as chatting via messaging platforms. Professionalism should still be reflected on how you write your e-mail. Otherwise, your co-workers may find you impolite and inefficient at the same time.
Professional correspondence can be done by following simple tips. Here are a few, which you can apply immediately:
Greet warmly. No matter how urgent your concern is, it is always best to start your correspondence with a greeting. This shows courtesy, which everyone deserves in the workplace. This gives your e-mail a good opening regardless of how serious your message is.
Do not forget to address the person you are sending the e-mail to, as well. This will sustain the warmth you want your message to give off.
Convey your thoughts right at the beginning and briefly. You should keep in mind that not everyone has enough time to read long e-mails. Hence, it is best to state your concern at the start of your e-mail, following your greeting.
Being straightforward will not only save your colleague’s time, but your time, as well, in getting the response you require. If you can state your thoughts in a short message without rambling, the better your e-mail would be.
Consider your recipient’s thoughts when composing your message. Put yourself in the shoes of your e-mail’s receiver to ensure that you would be able to construct a professional message, rather than a discourteous one.
If you want to be on the safe side, always consider using a neutral tone when composing an e-mail. This is regardless of whether you are close to the recipient personally or otherwise.
Keep in mind that e-mails are permanent records. E-mails are also being used by companies to keep track of their internal (with employees) and external exchanges (with clients and partners).
Given the said fact, it is best to be as detailed and concise as you can be. If there are figures involved, then you should ensure what you will write is correct and double-checked. On the other hand, if attachments are necessary, make sure to add them as references.
Copy the necessary people. There are matters being disseminated that require validation from other members of the company apart from the recipient and sender. This is most important if the concerns are of consequence. One good example is a response about a dispute from a customer. By copying the relevant departments or key people in the e-mail, immediate action could be done to rectify the issue at hand.
Check the grammar and spelling. If you believe this is not necessary, then you are wrong. Be reminded that what you write is a representation of who you are. If you will not check the grammar and spelling of your message, one may think twice regarding your capacity as a virtual assistant.
Close the e-mail appropriately. Always add a professional closing, such as “Best regards,” “Thank you,” “Sincerely.” Furthermore, it is best to use a signature that indicates your name, position, and contact information. In such a way, if you are talking to a person outside your organization, they could reach out to you using another means, if they prefer.
Making your correspondence professional shows your recipients how adept you are in what you do, even in as simple as e-mail composition. It also implies that you want to maintain good communication to avoid conflicts with everyone’s work. Simply follow the aforementioned tips and you can create a professional writing you would be confident to send.