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Please Don’t Call Me Sir

Writing an email to someone you’ve never spoken to before can either be a piece of cake, or you’ll second guess the wording of every single thing you’ve written.  

For a lot of people, it’s something you don’t even think about! But after receiving some very interesting emails, maybe it’s time we brought it up in this blog of ours.

Perhaps you’re approaching someone you want to work for, or you could be approaching a recruiter for the very first time. It’s honestly not a big deal.

Here are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you nail the convo:


  • Spell their name right – seriously. I have people reply to my emails calling me all sorts of versions of my name. While it may sound funny… this frustrates me (and probably a lot of other people) because my name is literally right there, in my signature, on your screen! Copy and paste if you have to, but please – make the effort to get it right the first time. People will appreciate it, trust me!
  • Again, it’s minor, but use the right title (Mr/Mrs/Miss) and if you’re not sure – don’t use one. You wouldn’t call someone, “Mr. John Smith” if you met them in person so there’s really no need to do it over email. Just ‘John’ is fine. 
  • Please don’t call me Sir. I get this a lot. It’s super impersonal and old fashioned. Also, the fact that I am female and have not been knighted comes into play a little… (we can’t all be as awesome as Richie McCaw!)
  • If you’re not sure about the person’s details, spend two minutes checking you’ve got it right – find their LinkedIn page or check their company website.


  • Yes, you want to come across as having your life together – but don’t go overboard. This is just my opinion, but I’d rather someone email me with the same kind of language that they would use with me face-to-face.
  • Use correct spelling and grammar, but don’t act like you’re addressing the Queen – it’s just another person on the other end! We all have the same problems like having to do the dishes after dinner and put the rubbish out on Tuesdays (or is it Wednesday?) – so there is no need to put them up on this giant pedestal. It’s just not necessary, especially if you are wanting to build an honest, true relationship with the person.
  • Read the message out loud to yourself before you send it – just to make sure it makes sense.


  • Inboxes get flooded and emails can sometimes (unintentionally) be missed. Show you have great communication skills and initiative and just give the person a call. Being a recruiter, it is easier to chat with someone new if I have something in front of me to refer to – so send the email, give it half an hour, then call. Or make sure you’ve got an epic LinkedIn profile that they can refer to as well. If you don’t have one already, here’s how to build the best LinkedIn profile.

That’s pretty much all there is to it! Long story short… don’t be an email e-diot. With these tips in your email-writing-ammunition, you’ll be writing emails better than a jam-filled, cream-covered cake with sprinkles on top! Just like I said, piece of cake – right?

Jonelle is full of good ideas, isn’t she? Keen to chat with her, or someone else from the team at Consult about the next step in your accounting, finance, or banking career? Check out our latest jobs or get in touch to discuss the roles we have that might suit you.

About the author

Jonelle Foot

Talent Manager

A born and bred sassy Kiwi lady that delivers for both candidates + clients with a service that is second to none.

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Scam Alert: Beware of scammers on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp posing as Consult Recruitment employees. If you're contacted on these platforms about job opportunities, please don’t reply and inform us here.