Not hearing back from emails isn’t just a common occurrence for jobseekers. Regardless of industry, some of us feel that hitting the send button results in emails being sucked into a black hole of no return. If you find your emails are being ignored, perhaps it’s time to reassess the way you’re writing them and refresh yourself on modern-day email etiquette. After all, email is today’s most important business communication tool.

1. Short and sweet
No one has the time to sit and read emails, let alone take the time to reply to them. Your introductory emails should be simple and concise. Stick to the 300-word rule and ask any questions upfront. Introduce sales offers prior to listing benefits or examples.

2. Make the most of the subject line
You want to alert your recipient on your email’s topic in the subject line or risk it being ignored or read at a later date. However, it’s important to alert without using words like “urgent”. If it’s not urgent, you’ll be crying wolf.

3. Avoid smothering
Your emails should be sent in small quantities and targeted to the right people. Think quality, not quantity. Blanket someone’s inbox and you’ll be ignored or marked as spam.

4. Professionalism and personality
Treat an email as if it were a formal letter. It’s possible to get your personality across formally without the use of slang words and clichés.

5. Consider your email’s appearance
Caps should not be used for emphasis and Comic Sans is not an email font. Remain formal, use capital letters at the start of each sentence, full stops at the end and use a clean font such as Arial, Verdana or Calibri. Avoid using exclamation points or asking too many questions.

6. Carbon Copies (CC) and Blind Carbon Copies (BCC)
Don’t include people in your email unless they really need to see your message. If you’re sending emails to large groups, use the BCC field to prevent people’s email addresses being widely viewed.

7. Is “Reply All” necessary?
Some people are included in emails out of courtesy, but individual replies don’t need to be seen by everyone.

8. Say no to smiley faces!
It’s nice to add a personal touch to emails, but not in the form of emoticons. Business emails are no place for smiley, sad or winking faces.

9. Avoid misinterpretation
Without facial expressions and body language, people can often misinterpret your message. Keep your sentences declarative and simple and avoid going off on tangents.

10. Indicate any links
We are all aware of seemingly harmless emails which can link to dodgy or harmful sites. If you are including a link in your email, indicate where it will take the recipient. You should never sent or open an unidentified link.