Avoiding Embarrassing Mistakes When Emailing In College

by Chad Agrawal

mistakeCommunication is essential to any relationship whether the connection is personal or professional. Handwritten forms of communication seem to be outdated by electronic forms that have become more efficient and cost effective ways to reach out to others. The rise of social media has established other avenues to message friends and peers, but email remains the most popular form of communication for casual and professional settings. Colleges are following this trend with staff members requesting contact from students via email due to the timeliness and efficiency that email offers. Community college transfer students are prepared with plenty of email experience, but there are some mistakes that can be derailing for a relationship between a student and a professor or administrator if professionalism is lacking in email correspondence.

Emailing a Professional Requires Professionalism

Communicating through email is more efficient with fewer requirements compared to a handwritten or typed letter. Students can make the mistake of treating emails as informal means to contact a professional associated with their college such as a professor or administrator that should be treated accordingly in an email. Students should always use a proper salutation with a respective title or honorific like "Dear Dr. _." The body of the message should remain in a professional tone without improper language or slang terms that do not coincide with the purpose behind the message. Each message should end with a closing that would be found in a business letter such as "Sincerely" or "Respectfully". Some of the formalities might subside as a relationship develops. However, this should only occur at the request of the superior.

Oops-Wrong Name

One of the more common mistakes that students make while emailing a college or university professor or associate is storing a contact by a first and last name. This method is usually fine when adding contacts to an email address book. However, any friends, family, or professionals with the same first name can likely cause a click that will send a message to the wrong person with the same first name. Professor John Right might be listed in an address book as "John Right" along with a best friend named "John Wrong". Imagine sending a message or photos that were intended for a best friend, to a professor that does not share the sense of humor implied in the message or photos. This mistake happens with email programs that have auto-fill options that automatically fill in the rest of a contact name with a user simply typing the first letter of a name in the "To:" line of an outgoing email. This mistake can easily be avoided by storing a professional name as it should be addressed in person such as "Professor Right" along with checking the settings of an email program to turn off any auto-fill or auto-complete options that will require the manual spelling of an intended contact.

Remember the Purpose of the Email

Email is a way to communicate quickly with brief messages and attachments that fulfill the requests of the addressed professional. Students often make the costly mistake of forgetting an attachment that includes an important document that is usually time sensitive. Administrators are expecting important paperwork such as financial aid documents to be attached to an email, whereas professors are looking for attachments that include assignments or tests that are due on certain dates and times by email. The same guidelines for turning in a handwritten assignment are expected of an email communication. Students still have to be on time with the correct information included in the correspondence.

There are other mistakes that can be avoided by simply editing the message within an email. Proper grammar and spelling is often taken for granted by students that rely on spell-check to fix everything. Some email programs that are required by colleges might not have spell-check capabilities responsibility falls on each student to properly construct a professional email. Students should remain conscientious of the primary purpose of each email prior to clicking "send". Email will continue to be the most popular form of communication on college campuses. Students can only strengthen their professional relationships by practicing proper email etiquette.

About The Author

Ryan Ayers is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to education. In this article, he offers emailing tips to students and aims to encourage further study with a master in public relations.

Image Source: http://blog.getresponse.com/top-5-mistakes-bloggers-make-with-their-email-marketing-campaign.html

This post was written by Chad Agrawal

Chad Agrawal is the founder of CCTS, helping students transfer from community college to Ivy League, tier 1 or anywhere else by following this community college guide.

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