Brevity, Clarity Valued In Executive E-Mail

Executives get an average of 36 e-mails each day, shows a recent OfficeTeam poll -- and many rely on administrative staff to prioritize and direct those messages. To ensure your message will get prompt attention, follow these tips from OfficeTeam executive director Diane Domeyer:

  • Think before writing. Knowing your ultimate goal will help clarify your message.
  • Keep it short. The more succinct, the more likely a prompt reply.
  • Use the subject line to your advantage. Generic subject terms don't describe contents or time sensitivity, so it may delay response.
  • Be considerate; use "please" and "thank you" even in brief messages.
  • Include an action step, or the message could be misinterpreted as an FYI. Clearly outline expected type of reply and deadline.
  • Keep it simple; each message should have only one piece of information or action item.
  • Don't include confidential information; e-mail can be forwarded to unintended recipients.
  • Proofread. Use the business style you would in any written materials; check for grammatical and typing errors. OfficeTeam offers job search and staffing services.
  • Hide comments


    • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

    Plain text

    • No HTML tags allowed.
    • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
    • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.