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7 Sept 2015

E-mail Etiquette

Nothing kills your chances of success like lack of etiquette. First impressions are literally everything and a lot of downfalls in that area happen in less expected ways. It's not always a handshake, an interview, or a resume that speaks as a representation of you. Working in an industry where everything is about appearance and approach, I have come to learn that detail matters. How you host a dinner party, what drink you order, the way you put together an outfit, and your ways at the table all matter. But one area that the younger generation (mine) all too often over look, is e-mailing. Think it's not important? Think again. You cannot work for a reputable company or run your own and have people take it seriously if you cannot compose something as simple as proper and appropriately structured email. (Not to mention, if you can't, it's honestly one of my biggest pet peeves EVER!) Today I've listed 7 areas with do's and the most commonly made don'ts to set it all straight.

Address. We all made an email when we were 12 years old, in the time of MSN addictions. That's fine. But your email address matters. It's the first thing people see in their inbox and could end up on your business card one day. With time, age, and maturity - it's necessary to have an updated email address that matches all of the above. Too many numbers, abbreviations, punctuations or terms of endearment (cutie pie, sweetheart, sexy, babe and other things the general public doesn't care to call you) are not appropriate. Stick to addresses that contain yours and/or your business' name, as best you can.

Recipients. Know when to reply-all, cc:, or bc:, and when to just reply to one. Nobody likes to get stuck in a group iMessage and same goes for emailing. If you're going to converse back and forth amongst select people, it's inconsiderate to unnecessarily blow up everyone else's inbox - especially when conversations veer off into gossip, outfit considerations, or dinner plans. You don't need the person trusting in your work to be forcefully peeping into your personal conversations. So be cautious and double check who you're replying to before freefuly hitting "send".

Abbreviations. There's a time and a place but to keep it simple, just don't. Your boss isn't laughing out loud when you add an "lol" in there and it's also no laughing matter to leave people trying to figure out that your "OMW" (on my way) is a heads up to wait for your almost arrival. It's highly unlikely that you're that pressed for time, that you can't simply write out a few more letters. Leave the short term for text and insta-messaging.

Tone. Miscommunication is never more common than when via technology. Shooting out emails all day can lead to keeping it straight and to the point (which is great) but responding too much to the point can come across short, blunt, and/or harsh - despite your intentions being otherwise. Give your emails a once over before sending them out to verify that the tone comes out the way you'd intended it to. It's never fun having to dig yourself out of something you didn't even mean to get into.

Font. Less has never been more. Fonts like Times New Roman, Arial, and Georgia will suffice. Believe me. And there shouldn't even be an option to change your letters to hot pink unless it truly coincides with your business or venture. Basic font choices are clean and professional. Think simple not shocking.

Spell-check. You're never too old, educated, or experienced for spellcheck. And it's actually a more intelligent choice to opt for always having it on. Misspelling and inaccurate or lack of grammar usage is easily one of thee worst looks to have. Even on social media, I myself, cringe when people cannot spell. Imagine how it looks to potential clientele or colleagues.

Sign off. The easiest thing you can do to up your email game is add a signature. You're only required to configure it once and it will automatically be included in any email you send. It makes it look like you've got your big girl panties on and if you're an entrepreneur, business owner, or in any type of high communication job - it's an easy way to include whatever information that might be necessary (full name, work email, telephone number, business address, etc.) without having to re-write or remember to include it each time.

Even if you can get by (for now) without being a savvy emailer these guidelines are still for you. As the saying goes; "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have."

Thanks for stopping by!
XO, Olivia Murray.

Photo(s) are not my own. All included images are sourced from Tumblr, origin(s) unknown.

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