Etiquette & Professionalism

Hitting Send.

The other day, I received an email.  At least, I think it was an email. It had missing words, zero punctuation, and so many misspelled words and phrases that I could barely get through the content of it.  

I do feel bad for the person who sent it to me, since they do not see how they are presenting themselves.  Badly, in case you were wondering. I’m also saddened, because it is obvious to me that no one has shown them or taught them a better way.  

Here are a few tips to ensure your email presents you and your message in the best way possible.  

1 – An email is an electronic message, not unlike a text message on a phone, that has a sender, a recipient, and content.  It is like a letter, except that some parts are automatic and easy to use.

2 – Have a professional and/or practical username and domain.  (i.e. YourName@ website .com)  Please, please, please, do not use “sweetkitty” or other such “cute” usernames.  Unless, of course, it is your business name and therefore, should be your domain.  

3 – Use salutations.  I know this sounds silly, but “Dear”, “Hello”, and “Thank you” really can go a long way in an impersonal, electronic medium.  

4 – Use punctuation and spacing.  Capital Letters belong at the beginning of sentences.  Sentences have periods at the ends of them. Commas, save lives.  The space bar is not there to annoy you. The enter button is not just for submitting a post on social media.  Please use these tools. They are there to support you. No one wants to attempt to decipher a “wall of text”, because you wrote something on your phone quickly.  FYI, your phone keyboard has an “enter” key. Promise.

5 – Remember that you are reaching out to another human being.  Words on a screen are just that. Tone of voice, tempo of speech, accents, dialects, etc. cannot be “read” into an email accurately.  Unless you know the person very well and they email in their manner of speaking.

Please note, these are my tips, based on my experiences. Your experience may (will) vary.

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