Any time you send a business-related e-mail, you should use proper etiquette, but etiquette and form are even more important when you introduce yourself to a prospective employer, new colleague or potential client. While the biggest faux pas you might make is to fail to offer any introduction at all, several procedures will help you make a positive first impression electronically.
Address your recipient properly. Use the person's first name if you are introducing yourself to a coworker or other peer, such as someone in a similar position at another company. Identify the recipient by title and last name followed by a colon if you are e-mailing a higher-ranking colleague, prospective employer or a client. For instance, you might write "Hello Susan," to a new coworker, but you should use "Dear Ms. Dudley:" when introducing yourself to a prospective employer.
Offer your full name. Start off by stating your first and last name, such as, "Hello, my name is Leah Johnson," even if you believe the recipient knows who you are. Doing so will prevent confusion if your recipient knows someone with a similar name. It also allows the person to record your full name in their contact list or add it their calendar if you have scheduled a meeting with them.
Provide some background information about yourself. This is especially important if you are introducing yourself to a potential employer, but also acts as an ice breaker when presenting yourself to colleagues.
Be friendly yet professional. Use proper business etiquette even if a new manager or prospective employer uses an informal tone in an e-mail to you. Once you become more familiar with protocol, you may be able to loosen up, but putting on your best manners initially will present you in a favorable light.
Get to the point -- politely. State the purpose of your e-mail graciously but concisely, whether you are offering a friendly introduction or including your resume for consideration. Wait for a face-to-face meeting to ask questions or go into greater detail about yourself.
Tricia Goss' credits include Fitness Plus, Good News Tucson and Layover Magazine. She is certified in Microsoft application and served as the newsletter editor for OfficeUsers.org. She has also contributed to The Dollar Stretcher, Life Tips and Childcare Magazine.