STEP 1: Do be polite.

    • Always address the person you do not know as Mr., Ms., or Mrs. Include their last name and keep it formal. For example: Dear Mr Lewis. Ending: Yours sincerely. If you can’t find a named contact, open with: Dear Sir/Madam, and close with: Yours faithfully.
    STEP 2: Include a clear subject in the title line of your message.

    • These make it easier for employers to understand why you are contacting them and to find your email at a later date. They also reduce the risk of getting trapped in a spam filter.
    STEP 3: Be concise.

    • State your need clearly and quickly make your point. Long messages are likely to be skimmed (and binned!).
    STEP 4: Be professional!

    • Do not use informal phrasing, “text speak”, slang, all capital letters or exclamation marks. The aim is to maintain a professional email tone which is likely to be different from communications with your friends or via social networking sites.
    STEP 5: Check your spelling and grammar.

    • Even minor errors can undermine your approach and may suggest a lack of attention to detail. So, do proof read carefully before sending.
    STEP 6: End with a signature/contact details.

    • Include your name and your contact information. Usually this means a mobile telephone number.