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Writing an email to your boss can seem like a minefield of potential problems, and it’s true that there are various mistakes which should be avoided. Effective business communication generally strives to be polite and clear and avoid wasting the other person’s time. These fundamentals can easily be applied to email. Fortunately, sending a useful email to your boss can be quite straightforward.
Log into your email client.
Determine the appropriate email address for your boss. Often people will have multiple email addresses for their work and personal life.
Write a relevant subject line for your email. This should give an indication of what the email’s about, rather than a generic “Please read” or “Quick question.”
Stay on topic throughout the email, and try not to deviate from the main focus of the note. If you have an informal communication style, however, it may be more appropriate to offer additional comments and information which isn’t strictly necessary.
Avoid sending large file attachments unless absolutely necessary.
Be polite throughout the email. Don’t make it seem like you’re ever giving your boss instructions – instead, make it clear that any suggestions are merely recommended.
Check the email’s spelling, ensuring that all names mentioned are written correctly.
Anticipate that your email may be forwarded along to other people. For this reason, you shouldn’t include private or personal information unless it’s entirely relevant.
Joe Burnham has been a writer since 2008, working with British magazines such as "NME." His articles have been featured in "The Independent" newspaper, London's "Time Out" magazine and "York Vision," where he served as editor-in-chief. Burnham holds a Bachelor of Arts in politics and international relations from the University of York.