Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Even a Simple Email Offers the Opportunity for a Positive Impression

If your most frequent communication is IMing your friends or text messaging them on your cell phone, the concept of email etiquette when sending a “professional” email might seem something you don’t have to consider. Yet, if you’re applying for an internship, a job or to college, any emails you send must be professional ones.

In fact, even the briefest of emails can tell the person on the other end a great deal about you. And you want that “great deal” to be a positive impression.

First, use spellcheck before sending any emails. And after you’ve used spellcheck, personally check for the most frequent errors that spellcheck doesn’t catch, such as their and there. Go to the Flipping Burgers website at http://www.flippingburgersandbeyond.com/cheatsheet.html for a list of some of these frequent errors.

Second, use correct grammar and punctuation. And, yes, the word “I” must be capitalized. (The above list also has some tips for this area of concern.)

Third, it’s probably a good idea to leave off those cute emoticons that you use with your friends.

Fourth, if your email address is not your full name, make sure you’ve included your full name at the end of the email. Do not expect an employer, for example, to remember your full name from an email you sent three weeks ago.

Fifth, be prompt in responding to a professional email. If someone offers you an interview, do not wait two days to say yes. Check your email several times a day and, as soon as you read a professional email sent to you, hit reply and write a professional response.

Sixth, say thank you. It’s always a good idea to show appreciation for getting a response, for example, to an email you sent requesting an interview.

I’m stopping here for today. There are many other points to be considered when writing a professional email. Yet, if you work on doing the six things above, you’ll be off to a good start when we next discuss this all-important topic.

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