“Can You BELIEVE This Guy?”: Thoughts on the Importance of E-mail Etiquette

May 19, 2009 at 5:10 pm 1 comment

Carolyn ThumbnailPenned by Carolyn

There’s been a fair amount of news and public service announcements recently about kids and cyber-bullying – the basic concept being that kids will say things online that they would never say to a friend or peer in person.

This phenomenon unfortunately sometimes applies to adults as well. In your jobsearch especially, e-mail etiquette is just as important as phone etiquette, the way you’d speak to someone in person, or how you’d present yourself in a cover letter.

We’ve had several cases recently of finding people we were excited about putting forward for a job… and then we received an email from them that was rude, out of line, or just so strange that we had to reconsider whether we really wanted to support that candidate.

A golden rule of online jobsearching and interaction: you’re still dealing with PEOPLE. There is a real person – with feelings, and an ego, and their own personality – on the other end of the communications you send out.

Think to yourself – If you met the recruiter or hiring manager in person, would you still communicate in the same way as you do on email? Make the same claims? Use the same tone? Be as pushy?

There is a thin line between assertiveness and aggressiveness that is even harder to walk in the online space. While we’re not telling you to be too meek or passive, it’s better to err on the side of politeness than rub someone the wrong way and get blackballed altogether by the company.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. georgekao  |  May 20, 2009 at 4:19 am

    Great post, Carolyn.

    What’s always worked in my favor in online communications is to err on the side of being courteous, even cheerful.

    The reader can’t hear the tone of your voice or see your face, so you have to be more intentional about communicating warmth.

    Cheers 🙂

    Reply

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