Despite the numerous digital channels people use to connect in the workplace today, email remains one of the most commonly used professional communication tools. Whether you're interacting with hiring managers, current employers or colleagues, you'll want to be as polished as possible in your messages.
Emailing isn't rocket science, but it does call for a certain level of awareness and finesse. Follow these basic rules when you compose your next email, and you shall be fine. Happy Emailing! Emails are a fantastic way of communicating. They are quick, easy and a powerful medium of communication. Even though e-mail messaging is the dominant form of business communication today, we have grown callous. There are certain standards that are expected from all those who use e-mails to communicate on a daily basis.
Spellings and grammar are essential. Very essential. If you're not sure of how your email reads, have a friend/colleague read it and then apply that feedback in your communication.
Yes, yes you are very busy. Not a second to spare. But so is the person at the other end. He/she is not sitting there shooting emails to random people. There is obviously a purpose behind it. So please do reply on time.
How hard is it to spell someone's name correctly? You might think it is not something to make a scene about, but it matters. It speaks volumes about your attitude. "If he/she cannot take the time to get my name right, can I trust him/her with other responsibilities?" is what a familiar person might end up thinking about you. So always get people's name right.
Do not use Urgent or Important for all of your emails. Use it judiciously. You do not want to overuse and put people off forever. Flag your emails instead as High Importance. But again, use it sparingly, only when absolutely required.
USING ALL CAPITAL LETTERS AMOUNTS TO SCREAMING. You might be making the world's most important announcement, but there is no need to scream. We can hear you just fine. At the same time, using all lowercase letters suggests you're lazy. Use sentence case always. If you do feel the need to emphasize or highlight something, bold the text or italicize. You can also use asterisks. Some color is also fine. But again, don't go wild with that either.
It's fine to use a smiley or two when writing to people you know, but with someone you are interacting with for the first time? Umm, no. Not only is it inappropriate, it is also highly unprofessional. And no images either.
In this age of SMSing and emailing, we are constantly failing to understand the importance of a face-to-face interaction or even getting on the phone with someone to sort out issues. You do not need to email for every little thing. Do not use emails to escape difficult situations or conversations. Speak to that person directly.
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