Master the Art of Email

Whether in your job search or on-the-job, your email is a reflection of your personal brand.  Employers are judging your communications skills by looking at your emails.  Feedback from employers is that new employees have a lot to learn about appropriate business emails.

General Advice

  • Correct grammar, spelling and punctuation are expected
  • Professionalism should always rule
  • If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it in an email
  • Be concise and to the point, attach supporting documents if necessary but they should be able to quickly read the email to assess the situation and identify your recommended action steps
  • If you refer to an attachment, be sure it is attached

In Your Job Search

  • Accuracy matters – spell the person’s name correctly, use appropriate grammar and punctuation, avoid slang, emoticons, etc.
  • Be professional – put your best foot forward, show them your communications skills
  • Make it personal – don’t send a group thank you if you interviewed with multiple people, send each one a customized thank you (and still send a handwritten note)
  • If you say the resume is attached, be sure it is there and in a format someone can open

On the Job

  • Know when to just pick up the phone or walk to someone’s office, don’t go back and forth over details in email when you could quickly resolve the issue with a phone call. Email chains can be frustrating and annoying and they waste time.
  • Don’t send an email in haste when you are angry or frustrated, cool off and reread it before sending it
  • Don’t send anything you wouldn’t say in person
  • Don’t play games with cc or bcc to higher ups, they are not impressed and more often will be annoyed.  If you need management intervention reach out to them and ask for their help explaining the situation and what needs to be done, don’t threaten the person you are dealing with by ccing the boss and don’t irritate the boss who isn’t clear on what you expect him to do
  • Maintain professionalism and accuracy
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