onset of technology has changed the way we do business but some common
sense rules still apply when it comes to etiquette. The following tips
may be a reminder of what we think in common sense, however could also
save you from some embarrassing situations.
1. Messages either over voicemail or in an email should be concise and
to the point. No one wants to listen or read a long-winded message.
In the case of email, if the recipient has to scroll down several pages
it is very likely they will file to read later and not get back to your
message for days. Keep it short and easy to read.
2. Make sure those
you are copying on voice or email, need to be copied. In the case of
email, we can find ourselves copying people out of habit. In a time
when some people receive dozens of voicemails and hundreds of emails
a day, decide whether or not it is necessary before you copy someone.
3. Email is like
a conversation, however, unlike a telephone conversation or voicemail,
don't expect a response right away. Don't assume that once you have
sent your email that the recipient has read your message. You need to
allow a bit of time for someone to respond.
1. In a business situation, follow your formal salutation. If you address
someone by their first name, use this. If not Ms./Mrs./Mr. are acceptable.
2. In a non-business situation, Dear John or just John is appropriate.
3. Sign your email with your name. You may also wish to include your
title, name of company, telephone numbers, fax number and website address.
back to email
Consider carrying the history along when you respond back to an email.
This helps the recipient trace the history of the message and follow
it more clearly.
Keep in mind there is no such thing as private email. In some companies,
administrators have the ability to read any and all messages and some
actually monitor emails - don't send anything that may put you in an
uncomfortable position should someone other than the intended recipient
read your email.
Abbreviations and other Do's and Don'ts in
Avoid excessive punctuation when sending an email - particularly the
exclamation point - like good grammar, you don't need to use six or
seven exclamation points to get your point across, one is more than
Don't use upper
case type unless you are really emphasizing something - it can come
across as shouting.
Use the subject
line when sending an email. Some people will sort and filter their emails
by this subject line.
Always check your
message for spelling and grammar - more often than not it may be the
only thing a person has to go on if they don't know you well.
There are many
abbreviations used in email - below are some examples.
what it's worth
my humble opinion
the funny manual
no such thing as a free lunch
TA for now
to you later
Symbols are commonplace
in emails. These include the ever-popular smile symbol that is written
like this :-)
There are many common symbols which are used to convey emotions. Below
are a few examples.
grin (heavy sarcasm)
Speak clearly and
slowly and leave your name and telephone number twice if the person
doesn't know you well.
State the reason
for your call and make your message concise and to the point.
Don't leave a message
from a speaker phone. Your message may not come through clearly.
Change your outgoing
voicemail message daily. Include your name, extension number, the date
and what your agenda is for the day (in or out of the office, when returning).
Whether leaving a voicemail message to set up a networking meeting or
to follow up on the process of a job vacancy, keep the following tips
in mind before making the call.
1. be prepared - know what you want to achieve - have a pen and paper
2. smile when you speak and try not to speak too quickly or too slowly,
3. use your first and last name to introduce yourself. Use the first
name of the person you are calling only if they offer, otherwise use
Mr. or Ms.
4. be confident and positive, genuinely interested and enthusiastic.
5. avoid saying anything negative about your previous employers.
6. If calling from home, remember to turn the TV and radio off and secure
yourself away from any obvious distractions or background noise.
7. while job searching, do not have a cute message on your outgoing
voicemail message at home, including your kids voices, music in the
background, etc. should a potential employer call you to set up an interview.