As a job seeker, it is important that you are implementing etiquette rules. I tend to blame a lot of the lack of email etiquette to our thumbs. Yes, I said it our thumbs tend to be our worst nightmare at times when it comes to sending an email. I believe that it all started with our cell phones. We are part of a generation that is very tethered or connected. With this connection we have instant access to the internet and email at all times. So the distinction between a text message and email that we are sending via cell phone is blurred. So there we go responding to that important email and our thumbs begin smoking and replying to a business professional like I am talking to my best friend via text message.  Just because you are using your thumbs, which is a key distinction between humans and most other species, to send a message doesn’t mean that professionalism should be thrown out the door. By using proper email language you convey a professional image. This weeks Career Services blog digs into a few email etiquette tips to remember when sending your next email.


Email Etiquette tip: Avoid emoticons, abbreviations, and smiley faces

While some of these may be cute, there is little need for them in a business environment. Emoticons sent via a business e-mail can paint an employee as  unprofessional. Smiley faces should be left for personal e-mailing. In addition, unknown abbreviations can cause confusion.

For instance, do you understand the following message?

Subject: F2F Mtg Req

Am req a F2F w/ u ITNF, 2 discuss upcoming PRs. R U available Mon @ 3? Pls lv a msg on my vm, as I w/b OOO. L8R, H

Translation: Face to face Meeting Request

I am requesting a face-to-face meeting with you in the near future to discuss upcoming performance reviews. Are you available Monday at 3:00? Please leave a message on my voice mail, as I will be out of the office. Later, Howard


Email Etiquette tip: Remember, the recipient cannot hear your tone.

When crafting an e-mail message, always keep in mind that the receiver cannot hear your tone of voice or notice your body language. Be aware of the potential for misinterpretation, and create your message with the recipient in mind. By re-reading, you may be able to avoid misinterpretations.

Just remember, e-mail can not be equated to conversation. E-mail presents information in one dump, without any feedback. You can not see the body language that allows you to “read” the recipient, adjust your tone or respond differently. That is why it is unfortunately misread and misinterpreted regularly.


Email Etiquette tip: Personalize the message


This practice could be the easiest and most effective etiquette practice. By incorporating the person’s first name in to the body of the e-mail, you will go a long way in showing respect. A simple greeting—for instance, “Dear Donna,” Good morning, Harry,” or “It was nice to hear from you, Pat” —can show great e-mail etiquette in a matter of seconds.

Remember, everyone loves to hear (or see) their name.



Etiquette tips by: MARSHA EGAN