Letter writing used to be really important. It was so important, in fact, that some people spent their entire lives studying and practicing the art of letter writing. Besides the obvious use of personal correspondence between friends, lovers and family members, letters were also a means by which important historical facts were preserved and legal and political correspondence between officials took place.
Today, when it’s a cinch to “Reply All” from your BlackBerry, some of the art has been lost. This is not to say that the convenience of mobile emailing is the cause of carelessness or laziness, which I believe is another argument all together, but it can lend itself to rushed and seemingly careless correspondence. That’s why sending thoughtfully crafted email introductions and well-written emails can really set you apart in your job search.
Whether you’re introducing a friend to a colleague, your superior to a networking contact or a client to another client, a thoughtful email introduction makes you look good. It can also, if done well, ultimately show your peers that you’ve thought about who your colleague or contact is as a person, the accomplishments they’ve achieved in their career and that you are introspective, analytical and caring enough to recognize all of that.
How do you do craft a thoughtful email introduction?
My suggestion is to include the following elements, with your personal writing style, in an email addressed to both contacts.
Julie (or colleague’s name), Meet Laura (networking contact’s name)
Salutation / Greeting:
I hope you are doing well. How is your new job?
I was thinking of you last week because I ran into a colleague at a networking event and thought the two of you had a lot in common professionally and would hit it off.
Julie, meet Laura. Laura is a business consultant working in the digital strategy space with 10 years of marketing experience. She began her career at Turner, after graduating from Emory University with a degree in Marketing and Communications. She just moved to the city and is eager to connect with like-minded professionals.
Laura, meet Julie. Julie is an actress, writer and entrepreneur who recently launched a “How To” eVideo series all about using your talents and professional skills to better perform in the workplace. Julie has also won spots in the television industry with shows like Law & Order and 30 Rock.
Valediction / Closing:
I hope the two of you can connect, as I think both of your careers have a huge overlap both in industry and skill sets.
Talk to you soon.