Tips on protecting your career with proper email etiquette
How savvy are you about using one of the world's most powerful
and pervasive communication tools - email? If you're not, you need
to get that way.
The author of Beyond Email Netiquette has trained thousands of
professionals in writing and other success skills. He learned through
decades of working closely with business people that writing was
one of the workplace skills most in need of improvement. Then along
came email--and even many people who know that writing is not their
greatest skill were having to put words to "paper" for
everyone to read.
People's careers can depend on their ability to write well and
communicate clearly, and it's critical to carry those skills to
the new electronic medium. He decided to write a book to help. I'd
have to say he's done a pretty good job.
In a brief 43 pages, Al Borowski manages to talk about all the
important areas you need to be aware of when using email, including:
1. The facts about email. You and your company project an
image by the emails that go out. Even if you're not thinking about
it, the image is still being sent.
2. Structure. Consider the significance of each component
of an email. For example, the subject line alone can make or break
a communication. He suggests ways to make yours more likely to get
read--like don't hit "reply" or "forward" when
you need an answer. Change the subject line! Your most important
aim is to save your readers time.
3. The rules of writing. This may be the most important
section. What we write projects that "image" very powerfully.
Our bosses, colleagues will form opinions about us by the way we
write. Promotions, raises and even your career can depend on those
The author relates ALL of the critical principles of good writing-in
only 15 pages. I have read books on writing that run to 200+ pages
that contain exactly the same points, so you can't lose by studying
4. Graphic presentation. Good ideas for proper font selection
(sans serif works better on screen), color, underlining, and even
judicious use of emoticons (those silly symbols that show you're
smiling when you say this) are given in simple language.
5. Mechanics. The technological capabilities of email are
powerful and easy to misuse. Things like knowing when to use CC:
and BCC: can have powerful effects on your readers. For example,
using CC to "cover your carcass" by copying a boss or
other influential person to prove something's been done can create
very negative feelings in other readers. And it can backfire big
time if your boss sees it for what it is and doesn't approve of
6. Common sense suggestions. It's helpful to remember these
tips as we rush through the day. Reply promptly, remember to attach
files you promised, only use email if you'd be willing to see it
displayed on the company bulletin board with your name attached,
I've read a lot of books about writing, and I'm impressed
by the completeness and the compactness of this little gem. You
can probably learn something even if you consider yourself a career-building
email expert. Worth having around.
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