How to Write an Email to HR (with Examples)

Not sure what to put in your email to HR? We've got you covered.

Reviewed by Hayley Ramsey

Person wondering how to write an email to HR

Occasionally, in the workplace, you’re going to need to speak to HR about certain issues or concerns, but if you don’t have a personal relationship with HR, you might not know how to approach the situation. As with most communication in the workplace, this is normally done via email — although there’s no harm in requesting a meeting, too.

Within this article, we will walk you through the steps you need to take to contact the HR office and the different methods of communication that you can use with some handy examples.

When to email HR

Although there are varied reasons for you to contact HR, we will cover to most relatable circumstances below.

To submit a résumé or enquire about a job

If you’re applying for a job, you’ll generally need to send your résumé, along with your application, to the hiring manager. Similarly, if there aren’t any job openings, but you want to contact a company to let them know you’re interested when there are, then emailing the company’s HR manager is your best bet. If they like your credentials, they’ll be able to keep your résumé on file for when suitable positions open up.

To follow up on a job application

If you’ve recently had an interview, you may want to follow up on your job application with the company. In this case, emailing the HR manager that you interviewed with is a good idea. You could let them know any points that you forgot to mention, or may simply want to check on the progress of your application.

To request time off

In most businesses, HR tend to deal with holiday requests and paid time off. So, you will most likely need to email them if you need to request some time off. In this instance, you simply need to attach your holiday request form along with your email. When attaching the form, you can add the following to the body of your email:

Dear [HR manager],

Please find attached my holiday request form for the [date].

Let me know if you have any questions.


[Your name]

When to request an in-person meeting

Sometimes, you might not feel comfortable sharing what you have to say via email and an in-person meeting will be more appropriate. So, here are a few examples.

To make a complaint

Occasionally, you may need to make a formal complaint to your HR department. Whether you have a bad boss who isn’t treating you right or a condescending coworker that you just can’t get on with, you may have come to a point where you may need to take it further. Generally speaking, in these situations, it’s best to request an in-person meeting to discuss your issues in private. HR will then advise on the next steps that you will need to take when filling an official complaint at work.

To discuss a personal issue

Similarly, you may have a personal issue that you need to discuss with HR. Whether it’s to do with your mental or physical health, it may be more comforting to share your news in-person before you follow up by email.

To request a private meeting to discuss some medical leave, either call your HR manager or send an email asking for a private chat. You could use the following template:

Dear [HR manager],

I hope you are well.

There is a personal issue that I’d like to discuss in-person at your earliest convenience. Please let me know when you’re available for a private chat.


[Your name]

Steps to writing an email

Use these steps to guide you through the process of writing your email to HR so they have all the necessary information related to your request.  

Step 1: Address your email correctly

If you work for a really large corporation, you may have never met anyone from the HR department, so it’s important to find out the appropriate person to contact and to address your email correctly using their first and last name. On the other hand, if you know the HR representative quite well, then you can add a more personal approach by simply using their first name.

Step 2: Write a detailed subject line

When writing any type of professional email, it’s essential to use the subject line to let the reader know what they are expecting to receive. The HR manager should know what to expect before they’ve opened the body of your email. For example, if it’s regarding annual leave, then a subject line saying “Holiday request” is appropriate.

Step 3: Outline the purpose of your email

Following your greeting, explain what the purpose of your email is in detail. That said, if it’s a long-story, it’s best to save it for an in-person meeting where you can explain in further detail. You can use the advice we mentioned above based on the situation that you need to discuss.

Step 4: Explain how you want to resolve the issue

After you’ve explained the situation, it’s important to relay how you want the issue to be resolved. For example, if you are being sexually harassed at work, you will need to provide proof, along with the immediate solution that you expect. While this is an extreme case, you should also follow this advice when it comes to other situations. Explain the steps that you’ve already taken, along with what you now expect HR to do.

Step 5: Formally close your email

Like any other professional email, you must formally sign off. Be sure to include any other information that the HR manager will need, like your extension number, your work ID number or anything else suitable to your organization.

Email template

To help you write a professional email to HR, we’ve added a template that you can adapt below. Just make sure to edit the wording to match your specific case.

To: [HR manager’s email address]

Subject: [Summarize the topic of your email in a few words]


Dear [First and last name of HR manager],

I hope you are well.

I’m getting in touch regarding [the issue you need to address]. [Explanation of the issue, with relevant details]. [Detail the outcome you expect].

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Best regards,

[Your first and last name]

Email example

To put things into practice, here is an example of a specific situation that you can follow:

To: [email protected]

Subject: Complaint regarding unfair treatment


Dear Maria,

I hope you are well.

I’m getting in touch regarding some recent issues that I’ve faced with my manager. There is clear favoritism going on within our team and I am not being given a fair opportunity to advance within the department. It’s obvious that my manager wishes to promote one colleague without even allowing the rest of the team to apply for the role.

If possible, I’d like to have a meeting with you to discuss this issue and to identify how we can all have a fair chance of advancing within the department.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Best regards,

Andrew Hopkins

Key takeaways

Writing an email to HR is not always for good reasons, but sometimes it’s inevitable. It’s important to always remain professional when conducting your email and discussing your issue in person. With the help of this guide, you should be on the right track when writing an email to HR.

The most important points to follow when writing your email to HR are:

  • Contacting the correct person in HR
  • Keeping a professional tone throughout your email
  • Clearly addressing the reason for emailing
  • Outlining the issue and offering a solution
  • Formally closing your email

Have you had to contact HR before? Let us know what tips you might have by leaving a comment in the section below.