Email Best Practices

Follow these tips when reaching out to potential employers, alumni, co-workers, colleagues, and business associates. Let recipients know that you’ll only take 20-30 minutes and then stick to that!

Helpful Guidelines

  • Try to get a personal referral to your contact, especially if he or she has no connection with Stanford GSB or Stanford.
  • Make it clear in the subject line why you are writing or who referred you.
  • Introduce yourself briefly and be clear about why you are contacting the person.
  • Be brief. Be specific about why you are contacting them.
  • Keep your tone deferential.
  • Do not attach your resume unless you have already met or had a prior conversation.
  • If you are responding to an email, include the original message in the reply so the receiver can place your email in the correct context. Try to respond within two business days.
  • Don’t just rely on email since email can be lost or filtered out electronically. Follow-ups should be done via the phone.
  • Avoid writing anything you wouldn’t want to see on the front of the Wall Street Journal. Remember that emails and voicemails can easily be forwarded to multiple recipients.