Your emotions are probably running high as you look forward to starting a new job. It’s only natural that you want to reach out to your new colleagues, especially if you will be supervising other people. Writing a nice introduction email is an effective way to establish an early rapport, and it’s an opportunity you will never have again. Still, remember that you are an unknown and that your words will be scrutinized, so choose them carefully. And confine your email to less than one screen, or about four or five paragraphs. While this introductory message sets an important tone, you will have plenty of time to communicate in a more lengthy manner as you settle into your new job.
A four- or five-paragraph email – or one that consumes just less than a full computer screen – is an ideal length for an introductory email, especially when you consider the alternatives: a short email might be construed as terse and indifferent while a long email might lead to the impression that you are “windy” and undisciplined.
Strive for a conversational tone, as if you were having lunch with one of your co-workers in the company lunchroom. Refrain from using “50-dollar” words and pompous expressions. Balance this friendly effort with an air of confidence and professionalism. Most important, be yourself and don’t be afraid to reveal your personality. Your sincerity will help build that all-important bond with your new colleagues.
Begin your email with a polite introduction, citing your title and the date you will start your new job. You might say, for example, that you are “happy” to introduce yourself and that you are “delighted” or “thrilled” to be starting your new job.
Provide some information about your background and work history, but keep it brief. Mention your last work experience and only one or two other prominent accomplishments in your past. The point here is not to provide a resume-like backgrounder but to demonstrate that you are fully qualified for your new job.
Devote the next paragraph to your immediate plans or those projects that will warrant your earliest attention. Briefly explain their importance to the company while exhibiting some company pride. You might say, for example, “As some of you may know, rebranding our line of vitamins will be the focus of the marketing department’s efforts for the remainder of the year. This exciting project will help us reclaim market share and ensure a prosperous future.”
Close your email by expressing a desire to work positively and productively with your new colleagues. If you plan to convene a staff meeting, include the day and time. Otherwise, encourage them to drop by your office or stop you in the hallway to say hello.
Proofread and edit your email carefully, as much for spelling and grammar as tone. Add humor, where appropriate, but keep it to a minimum unless you are confident that it won’t be misconstrued.
Ask your manager to read and approve your email; it may be inappropriate to send it without such approval. She may supply practical tips, pointers and insights that you could not possibly have thought of on your own -- and help make your nice email even nicer.
- Purdue University Online Writing Lab: The Parts of a Memo
- University of Toronto: Writing: Style and Editing
- The New St. Martin’s Handbook; Andrea Lunsford and Robert Connors; 1999.
- The Scott, Foresman Handbook for Writers; Maxine Hairston and John Ruszkiewicz; 1991.
- A four- or five-paragraph email – or one that consumes just less than a full computer screen – is an ideal length for an introductory email, especially when you consider the alternatives: a short email might be construed as terse and indifferent while a long email might lead to the impression that you are “windy” and undisciplined.
With education, health care and small business marketing as her core interests, M.T. Wroblewski has penned pieces for Woman's Day, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal and many newspapers and magazines. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University.