E-mail Etiquette

Written by: Senior Technical Recruiter Pamela Pierce
Have you ever sent an email that you wish you hadn’t sent? Have you received an email where the language appeared to be a little strong or it was written in all caps so you immediately became offended? Whether you’re sending an email or on the receiving end, it’s important to know and practice good email etiquette when sending work emails.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when sending an email:

1) Choose a good subject line. Think about the content of the email that you are about to send. Choose a subject line that directly relates to what you wish to discuss in the email.
2) Use office-appropriate terminology. Using slang, misspelling the recipient’s name, or use of an inappropriate salutation can immediately change the tone of the email.
3) Do not send an emotionally-driven email. Keep your feelings at bay; do not send emails when you are angry or upset. Take a moment to gather your thoughts; come back to the email a few minutes later. Always avoid sending sarcastic or verbally offensive messages. Never use all capital letters in an attempt to reinforce your point or opinion.
4) Don’t press send before you proofread. Before you press send, read through the email 2-3 times. Have someone review it afterward if time permits or if someone is available to assist. Always put yourself in the shoes of the recipient and consider how you would feel if you received the email.
5) Don’t transmit or re-transmit personally identifiable information (PII) on an unsecured email exchange. This one is pretty self-explanatory. Pay close attention to the content of email that you are about to respond to. Check for PII, derogatory remarks or proprietary information within the chain of the email. The last thing that you want to happen is for this type of information to get into the wrong hands. Consider how you would feel if your personal information was compromised.

If you are ever in doubt about if your work email is appropriate or not, I suggest erring on the side of caution. However, there are great resources and articles available online that discuss this topic; a quick online search will yield a variety of useful results.

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