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You don’t have to be the next Ernest Hemingway to write a powerful and effective business email. Even for those who think of writing with a roll of the eyes, there are some simple formulas you can follow that can make your next email come to life.
1. When to write.
Knowing when an email is appropriate is a good place to start. Emails are still the norm in business circles, even in an age of texting and Facebook instant messages. Anytime you are looking to network with someone, inquire about work, or anything involving your professional life, stick with email. If you feel more comfortable speaking on the phone, you can articulate this in your introduction and offer your phone number.
2. How to structure.
Taking the time to craft an email can be the difference between getting the job, making the connection, building the relationship, or getting ignored.
It’s easy these days to just shoot off a note, but this can work against you in the business world. Here’s how you can show you’re intelligently engaged and informed:
- Greeting: This is your opener. “Hello Mr. Smith.” Avoid more casual greetings like “Hi” or “Hey.”
- Give a compliment: Offer a personal compliment. That might be, “I enjoyed meeting you yesterday,” or, “I was impressed with your LinkedIn profile, and inspired to reach out to you.” If it’s a referral, it could be something like, “I recently spoke with Jane Smith, who had great things to say about working with you.” This shows you’re interested in them as a person, not just a means to an end (like a job).
- Show knowledge of the company: “You work for Hirepurpose, which I know has been ranked as one of the top 50 places to work.” You can research the company online, including on its website, to learn more about it.
- Explain why you emailed: Make this brief and to the point: “I’m writing because I wanted to learn more about the position of manager at Hirepurpose,” or, “I’m currently looking to expand my career options, and looking for mentors to help me to build my professional network. I would love to speak with you briefly, about this.”
- Give a call to action: If you didn’t say what you wanted them to do in step four, be sure to include it. For example, “Are you currently still accepting applications for this position?” or, “I would love to have just a few minutes of your time to talk about this. Please let me know if you have the time and interest.”
- Close: Thank them and close briefly.
3. Make yourself sound interesting.
If you’re writing about a job or to create a professional connection, you can discreetly make yourself stand out a little, which would fall under step four. For instance, what’s something that is unique about you that you could share, briefly?
As a member of the United States military, you have some things to offer that can make you stand apart from civilians, if you phrase things properly. For instance:
“When I served in Afghanistan, I learned how to bring a team of extraordinarily socially diverse people together to accomplish a complex mission in a high-stress environment.” This shows you served overseas, you’re experienced and thoughtful, and you’re team oriented. Not bad for a single sentence.
Or you might say something like, “Through a distinguished military career, I learned that my success was always tied to my willingness to reach out to mentors like yourself.” This shows humility while also paying the person you are writing a compliment.
4. Be professional.
It’s best to write the way you would speak to a superior. Read your email out loud before you send it. The flow of the email should be somewhere between conversational and formal.
Being professional also means minding the details. Use proper grammar and word usage (“they’re” versus “their”). Never use emoticons, slang, or acronyms like LOL. Always double check the spelling of the person’s name, because Deborah isn’t the same as Debra, John isn’t Jon, and Mr. DeMatto isn’t Mr. Dematto.
5. When to respond.
Reply to any response you received from a company within 24 hours, even negative ones. Be as polite as you can, because you never know when another opportunity might come up in the future.
Specifically, thank them: “Thank you for the response.” Repeat what they told you, such as, “I understand that the position isn’t available any longer,” or, “I understand that my qualifications were not the best match for the position.”
Ask them to keep you in mind, “Please do let me know if anything changes.” Close with another thanks. “Thank you again for considering me.”
Former Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, whom President Donald Trump recently pardoned of his 2013 murder conviction, claims he was nothing more than a pawn whom generals sacrificed for political expediency.
The infantry officer had been sentenced to 19 years in prison for ordering his soldiers to open fire on three unarmed Afghan men in 2012. Two of the men were killed.
During a Monday interview on Fox & Friends, Lorance accused his superiors of betraying him.
"A service member who knows that their commanders love them will go to the gates of hell for their country and knock them down," Lorance said. "I think that's extremely important. Anybody who is not part of the senior Pentagon brass will tell you the same thing."
"I think folks that start putting stars on their collar — anybody that has got to be confirmed by the Senate for a promotion — they are no longer a soldier, they are a politician," he continued. "And so I think they lose some of their values — and they certainly lose a lot of their respect from their subordinates — when they do what they did to me, which was throw me under the bus."
Fifteen years after the U.S. military toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein, the Army's massive two-volume study of the Iraq War closed with a sobering assessment of the campaign's outcome: With nearly 3,500 U.S. service members killed in action and trillions of dollars spent, "an emboldened and expansionist Iran appears to be the only victor.
Thanks to roughly 700 pages of newly-publicized secret Iranian intelligence cables, we now have a good idea as to why.
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Mark Esper expressed confidence on Sunday in the U.S. military justice system's ability to hold troops to account, two days after President Donald Trump pardoned two Army officers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan.
Trump also restored the rank of a Navy SEAL platoon commander who was demoted for actions in Iraq.
Asked how he would reassure countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of the pardons, Esper said: "We have a very effective military justice system."
"I have great faith in the military justice system," Esper told reporters during a trip to Bangkok, in his first remarks about the issue since Trump issued the pardons.
For one veteran who fought through the crossfires of German heavy machine guns in the D-Day landings, receiving a Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of his service and that of his World War II comrades would be "quite meaningful."
Bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to award the Army Rangers of World War II the medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by the United States, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
An airman at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base was arrested and charged with murder on Sunday after a shooting at a Raleigh night club that killed a 21-year-old man, the Air Force and the Raleigh Police Department said.