More often than not, candidates fresh out of college enter the world of work with their resumes alone. Their resumes may include their educational backgrounds, skill sets, work experiences (internship, volunteer works, etc), and their biodata. While these are all the attributes that every recruiter and hiring manager looks for in a candidate, they are just not enough because they also look for someone who would fit well with their company culture.
You see, in the professional world, professionalism is a must.
Virginia Tech, on its website, defines professionalism as “the conduct, behavior and attitude of someone in a work or business environment. A person doesn’t have to work in a specific profession to demonstrate the important qualities and characteristics of a professional. Professionalism leads to workplace success, a strong professional reputation and a high level of work ethic and excellence.”
Such kind of professionalism can be seen in one’s email exchange with his/her colleagues. From the tone to how you address your colleagues or superiors, every little detail determines who you are as a professional. No one wants to see an email that comes off as unprofessional or even rude in the first business hour. Moreover, to maintain a strong relationship with your clients, you need to ensure that you do not use the wrong tone or the wrong words. Sentence structure goes a long way in sending the right message.
Email Etiquette Examples
Which of the two emails would you rather receive?
I need the weekly report ASAP.
Could you kindly send me the weekly report as soon as you can?
From the above-given examples, 2 sounds more professional and the receiver will be more inclined to reply accordingly with enthusiasm as compared to 1.
Email Etiquette Rules
When it comes to email etiquette, there are no concrete rules that every professional should follow. Every organization follows its own rules because while some prefer a business tone, some agree that friendly and light tones are more appropriate for their work culture.
No matter the company’s preference, here are 10 general email etiquettes you should always follow when drafting one.
- Your subject line must be to the point and match the body of the email. It should not be, by any means, misleading or unnecessarily long (60 characters at the most will do).
- Always give appropriate names for the attachments you send. For instance, you need to attach the budget report for the month of July. Rather than sending a file named Doc 1 or Budget, rename the file to Budget Report July 2021 or Budget_Report_July_2021.
- Do not send one-word emails such as emails containing just the words ‘Thanks’ or ‘OK’. Rather than just send ‘Thanks’, you could say ‘Thank you for sending the files’.
- If it is a business email, ensure that your tone is professional and friendly at the same time to be on a safer side. For instance, especially if they are your colleagues, rather than saying, ‘I need you to do this or that”, why not ask nicely? The structure of your sentence, the words you choose to use, and again, the tone you use all play important roles in how the message is delivered.
- Use Bcc and Cc wisely. Keep in mind that when you Cc recipients, you copy them publicly, and that when you Bcc them, they cannot be seen by other recipients. If you want to send an email to a number of your colleagues, protect the privacy of your list by bcc’ing. them.
- Ensure that you use the right email greeting and signature depending on the recipient. The tone you use when sending an email to your boss will definitely be more professional as compared to the ones you send your colleagues. When it comes to greetings, you could never go wrong with ‘Dear’. For example, Dear Aram or Dear Shelly. and when it comes to signing off, include your name, designation, company, and contact information.
- Never use emoticons, jargon, slang, or shortcuts such as TTYL (talk to you later) or Thnx (thanks) or ty (thank you). Even if you want to show how appreciative you are, jot it down on the email and not, by any means, send a smiley face emoji.
- Avoid using too many exclamation points. If you have to, just use one. Too many exclamation points will make the otherwise professional email look childish.
- Always respond within 24 to 48 hours after receiving the email. If the email suggests urgency, it’s important to respond as soon as possible.
- Always stick to the point of why you are sending the email. Avoid adding personal details and asking the recipients about their personal life and matters. Those can be done through phone calls.
The above-mentioned business email etiquettes should be always kept in mind once you are in the world of work.
We will leave you here with our best wishes.