Thursday, September 3, 2009

You Will Benefit by Better Email Correspondence!

Your Email Correspondence is Awful. Here's Help.

Tom Hogan

I just have to vent. Why a job candidate would send a poorly constructed, error filled, grammatically incorrect e-mail is beyond me. Your e-mail is as much a part of your professional image as the clothes you wear, the greeting on your voice
mail and the handshake you offer.

If you want to impress on every front and build positive business
relationships, pay attention to your e-mail.

Here are some common sense pointers everyone should follow:

1) Make sure it's obvious who your e-mail is from.
The "From" field in my inbox should be your full name. I'm looking at the first 20
emails in my inbox. I have 1 person with his initials, 3 with an e-mail address, and
one with the word 'Finance". In other words, I have no idea who sent 20% of these emails.

2) Personalize Your Message To The Recipient.
E-mail is informal but it still needs a greeting. Failure to put in the person's name can
make you and your e-mail seem cold and too direct.

3) Be sure the subject line is meaningful!
Again, I see the following subjects in my inbox: - Re: - HI - (a person's name) - FYI - Discussion - RE: Hello - Thursday - (no subject) - Good Afternoon - Recruiting At first glance,I have absolutely no idea what any of these e-mails are about. Please, make it obvious what the
e-mail is about.

4) Be sure the file name of an attachment is meaningful.
A file titled rkRev20a.doc may mean something to you but not to a recipient. For a resume,
try LastName-FirstName_JobTitle.doc. Keep track of your job search activities and which resume you sent where on a spreadsheet. I have a file on my profile at help you.

5) Don't use the "High Priority" Flag unless it truly urgent.

6) Remember that all your correspondence is a reflection on you.
If you know that misspelled words, poor grammar and a lack of or misuse of punctuation
on a resume is a death sentence to getting an interview, what makes you think your e-mail correspondence is any different? Use grammar and spell check. Read before sending.

7) Put your message in context.
You don't read a book by starting in the middle so don't send an email that starts the
reader off in the middle of a topic. Including message threads in your e-mails helps and remember to change the subject line as the topic changes. 8) Understand the difference
between Cc: and Bcc: If you're mass mailing your resume to everyone in the United States,
use Bcc:. It's not good to let a hiring manager or recruiter know that your resume is circling
the globe. At that point, you become a commodity and no one really wants to work with you.

9) Don't use emoticons.
Those little smiley faces make you seem at best silly, and at worst unable to express yourself.

10) Be mindful of the tone of your correspondence.
A reader cannot see your face or hear your tone of voice so chose your words carefully and thoughtfully. Put yourself in the other person's place and think how your words may come across.

11) Don't write a novel. E-mail is meant to be brief.
Keep your message short. Use only a few paragraphs and a few sentences per paragraph. People skim their e-mail so a long missive is wasted.

12) Don't Leave Off Your Signature
Always close with your name and contact information such as your home phone and cell phone, The recipient may want to call you. Creating a formal signature block with all contact data is the most professional approach.

Ok, I'm done venting.

Tom Hogan Principal

Editorial note: AMEN! Please, please please get better at sending e-mail correspondence. Otherwise you train people to only open yours when they get a round to it! Or Worse yet, you train them to delete yours due to not knowing how important your message is! Patty De

1 comment:

Nathan L. said...

Thank you,

I'm grade that most of what was mentioned in the article was a review, but I know I still have room for improvement. It was great how you mentioned that the file name of an attachment should be meaningful, a very important detail.


Nathan L.
G2G Intern