Etiquette Tip of the Week
Etiquette Tip of the Week: This time, it's personal
"When an email
doesn't have a salutation, I don't know whether it is addressed to me, or blind
copied to a hundred others."
That was a great insight I
received from a Career Services executive at a top law school.
Email is fast and
efficient. Emails are read quickly -- we are more likely to scan an email than
to read every word. Emails are also written quickly, leaving more room for
error... and informality.
When using email for
business, make it more, well... businesslike. That doesn't mean it has to be
stiff and formal with all the charm of the National Spelling Bee word list. It
means personalize it.
1) Begin with a
salutation (Dear...: or To....:) and end with
a closing (Sincerely,
All the best, Warm regards,).
2) State your purpose
early. ("I'm writing to follow up on
our conversation yesterday.") Another great insight came from
an executive recruiter who said, "If someone emails you a request,
acknowledge it." ("I
will get you those numbers by end of business Thursday.")
3) Use plain language. Don't try to impress with complicated words that readers might
stumble over. ("Use"
instead of "utilize."
instead of "concur.")
Avoid texting jargon. Call me old and unhip, but when I get texting jargon, I
usually have to look it up.
4) Make people feel
like you are talking to them, not just anyone. ("Attached
is the information we talked about. Thank you for taking time to meet with
5) Proofread, so it's
easy to read. An email full of spelling
and grammar errors is like telling the reader, "You weren't worth me
taking a second look."
Now that you know how
to write a better business email, you can get back to clearing yours
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