I have joined a software development company as a software engineer trainee/intern. I am learning the development processes of the project for which i have been hired. I work in the offshore team for my clients based in Florida, USA. My manager gives me the task of preparing MOM(minutes of meeting) , status reports and other emails regarding queries/issues to the onsite clients so that i get exposure of client communication. He has told me that my emails are not professional and i need to work on improving my business writing/communication skills.

For ex, this is a general template/format i use... Hi Chris/Harold,

Good Morning! Or Greetings!!

****email body *****

If you need something, please ask.

****my email signature ****

It would help me a lot if you could provide link to some good reference material or any advice to write perfect business emails.

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    Has your manager said what they think about your emails are "not professional" etc? If not, your first task is to be asking them, not the Internet :-) – Philip Kendall Dec 19 '15 at 9:25
  • Yes...but expert people like you can give me priceless advice :) – indy Dec 19 '15 at 9:40
  • Please edit your question to include the feedback you've got for your manager - without it, this question is too broad for us to give a good answer. – Philip Kendall Dec 19 '15 at 10:02
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    @Kilisi you know better than to answer a question in comments :-) – Philip Kendall Dec 19 '15 at 10:27
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    Please tell me you don't actually use multiple exclamation marks in business emails. – Lilienthal Dec 19 '15 at 19:06

Ask your manager for some examples of what he considers to be good client communications. Study them. Use the same salutation and closing. Keep the same style of writing and vocabulary for the body.

Your question, regarded as a writing sample, had a couple of problems. You should capitalize "I" regardless of whether it is the first word of a sentence. Do not abbreviate unnecessarily. "For example" would be better than "For ex". Make up your mind which noun to use, rather that putting two nouns with a slash, such as "template/format".


Your question is not professional You do need to work on your business writing/communication skills.

Read your question. Does it have proper grammar and capitalization? Is it clear and concise? Is there a clear question? Have you provided enough information? The answer is no to all of those questions.

Your boss told you "to work on improving my business writing/communication skills" and your reaction to ask what template to create the perfect email.

Go to Amazon and search on business writing. Take a class at a local community college. There is no quick fix to a "perfect business emails". Even calling it a "perfect" email is not professional.

"It would help me a lot if you could provide" Would you call that concise? One book you need is Strunk and White The Elements of Style.

As far as the template. Just skip the greeting and get to business. For sure no !! anywhere. If it is minutes then why would you close with "If you need something, please ask"? Skip the fluff and work on better business writing a sentence at a time.

  • I'm out of votes for the day, but I'm coming back to +1 your answer in a few hours. Couldn't agree more. – AndreiROM Dec 19 '15 at 18:04

In business communication: a) start with the end, b) use proper etiquette and c) be concise. Your question makes it appear that you need help with all of these.

A) Start with the End:

Start your message with the most important information/bullet points/summary first. Don't make the reader wait, even for bad news, because you might not have a reader for long. By contrast in other forms of writing (novel, story, comedy routine, etc.) encourage you to build the story and lead to a punchline. In business this approach backfires. Start with the important information and let reader decide whether to continue reading. This also saves the reader from sifting through "story" to get to the point.

B) Use Proper Etiquette:

When in doubt, be respectful by being formal. For example: avoid first names and use "Mr. X, Ms. X". Also avoid sounding conversational. The point here is that by being "formal" you will never offend. They might request less informality (i.e. "Please call me Chris") but calling them "Chris" before being asked may be too much.

Also, written language should be more formal than verbal. Even if you use an informal greeting, keep nearly everything else formal. Avoid conversational tones/wording, avoid contractions and avoid saying anything "friendly" in favor of formal or dry language. With spoken language this may sound too formal, but with written language it reads well and appears respectful.

C) Be Concise:

You probably use more words than necessary, maybe to "clarify" information but with the opposite effect. Most people use writing techniques taught by educators, aspiring authors and actual authors - people that favor intrigue and entertainment over concise communication. You have a different audience so avoid those techniques and advice.

After writing a draft message, review it and try to reduce the number of words by 50%. Even after that try to take out more words. In business, fewer words are more likely to be read. If you use MS Word or a similar program, aim for readability at a 6th grade level or lower (like a newspaper). Using complex or unusual words reduces communication.

A couple good reference books:

Write to the Point http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0085A7E7Y/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&btkr=1

How To Say It http://www.amazon.com/How-Say-Third-Sentences-Paragraphs-ebook/dp/B001TSZ67O/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1450517749&sr=1-1&keywords=How+to+say+it

The Pyramid Principle http://www.amazon.com/Pyramid-Principle-Logic-Writing-Thinking/dp/0273710516/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1450517785&sr=8-1&keywords=pyramid+principle

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