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I saw a job announcement (faculty position), which usually says "questions regarding this position should be addressed to [name and email.].

I want to ask a few questions about the position, and wonder what would be the most natural, correct, polite way to start the conversation.

Is starting with "My name is [name]" awkward? Should I start by saying "I am [name] at [name of my current school and my job]?


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I often have to introduce myself to people I'm working on projects with in an e-mail, and I almost always start with, "Hello. I am [name] at [company]. I am writing to ...." (and then explain the purpose of my e-mail). Then I am always sure to sign the e-mail with all of my pertinent contact information that the person I'm e-mailing might want to know (phone numbers, address). I think writing, "My name is [name]." sounds somewhat childish for some reason. – JLG Oct 24 '13 at 4:51
I am [name],A/An/The [occupation] in [school] – rps Oct 25 '13 at 4:30

Yes, it is awkward to start a letter or an email with an introductory statement of your name.

If you are writing a paper letter then your name address will be at the top of the letter; the structure of letters should be readily available somewhere on the Internet.

In an email you can discuss your circumstances (e.g. current job or school) in the body of the letter if and where it is relevant, but it is sufficient to place your name at the end, along with your address and other contact information.

For professional (or otherwise formal) emails it is helpful - I would even say even advisable - to get an email address with "first.last@domain.tld" structure, e.g. john.smith@example.com. It looks more credible than naughtyrabbit666@hotmail.com.

You'll find more guidance online, but avoid "I am writing to you to..."; it's obvious you're writing, you don't have to say it.

The best thing to do is to state the context, either in a separate "Ref: such-and-such a position" line, or in text: "In reference to the xyz position..."

And don't say "in regards to": it's "in regard to" if at all, and even that is better left out.

Best to use the the "Ref: xyz position" line, and start dialog with something like "I would like to ask some questions about this position.."

Good luck!

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Thank you for this answer. – Alice Oct 25 '13 at 20:48
Instead of saying "I am writing to apply for the position of....," would "I am applying for the position of ....." sound better? – Alice Oct 25 '13 at 20:50

I think just about any approach would be awkward for anyone, but introducing yourself immediately will leave a positive impression as you will convey confidence. How you word it shouldn't make a great deal of difference. Keep your audience in mind; the person reading it probably has many other emails to sift through and likely won't notice subtle steps taken to word your introduction perfectly. I think as long as you introduce yourself professionally and earnestly, the specifics will be overlooked in favour of focusing on the content of the email that is relevant to the position you are applying for.

However, if you want a specific opinion on wording, I would say go with "hello" rather than "hi" and I would say starting with "my name is [name] " sounds professional and somewhat informal yet still formal enough to be taken seriously, whereas "I am [name] at [name of school/job]" sounds professional, formal, and slightly authoritative. Personally, if I were your audience I would not disagree with either, but would feel more comfortable about you with the former.

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Thank you for this answer. This helps me. – Alice Oct 25 '13 at 20:49

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