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    UW COB| Why your email may be getting negative attention |Check out these helpful tips

    January 07, 2016

    By: Alyssa Hagstrom | College of Business Marketing Student | COB Intern | Interviewee: Pam Galbreath | English Instructor at the University of Wyoming

    My initial thought when I realized I needed a professional writing class was to see if there were easier online class. There were a number of my peers that told me about a few alternative classes if I wanted an easy “A”. However, I decided to take the professional writing class offered at the University of Wyoming. This class is taught by an astonishing instructor, Pam Galbreath. Teaching doesn’t come easy for all instructors, but some will leave a legendary footprint in your life--Pam Galbreath is one of those legendary instructors. The first day of class I will never forget what Mrs. Galbreath said, “Every student asks why they need this class, well I’ll tell you why, former students who are new in the workforce consistently call me and say, ‘I literally write professional documents at least twice a week at my new job.’” This is a true statement, as a graduating senior entering the job market I am thankful for Pam’s expertise in professional writing and her ability to teach students. In her professional writing class we learned how to write the following:

    • Memos
    • Job Applications
    • Press Releases
    • Emails
    • Summary of an article
    • Job Ad.
    • Proposal
    • Résumé & Cover letter
    • Filling out forms such as job applications, tax forms, ect…
    • Proposals

    Many of these documents will be used repeatedly throughout your life and professional writing is an important skill employers look for. Out of all of the professional/technical documents listed, email is probably used most frequently. A well written email is not notable, however a poorly written email will attract negative attention every time. As a new employee the last thing you want to be known for is poor writing and communication skills. Listed below are a few helpful tips to nailing an email.

    email

    • Pay attention to detail
      1. Once you send an email you will never get it back, scary huh? Below are steps to help you send the right email:
        • Write, edit & revise your message
        • Let it sit for five minutes
        • Read it over again
        • If you find a mistake redo the process. If not, send the email.
    • Addressing your sender properly
      1. This is BIG. Some people will take it personally some will not, don’t risk it. How are you supposed to know how to address someone properly? Well, that’s why there is Google. Listed below are some helpful tips:
        • Male married or not married --> MR.
        • Female that is married --> Mrs.
        • Female not married and if you do not know their relationship status --> Ms.
        • Female under the age of 18 --> Miss.
        • Professor --> Dr.
        • Assistant Lecturer --> Mr. or Ms.
        • You may also address an email recipient by their first name based on your relationship with the recipient --> Mia,
    • Writing for your audience
      • Make sure your content is thorough and the reader understands exactly what you mean to say. Write concise and professional (especially if you do not know the person).
      • Only double space after the introduction, example below:

    Dear Mrs. _____

    My name is ____

    More than one double space can confuse the reader and it does not look professional.

    • No Emoji’s
      • I know, it’s difficult not to show your emotions over email like we do in text messaging. However, emoji’s are very frowned upon in professional writing and in emails. Don’t use them, even if the temptation is there!
    • Your relationship with the person
      • If you know the person personally a smiley face won’t hurt you. Just make sure you have a personal relationship before you do anything out of the ordinary in an email.
    • Careful in your tone
      • The tone of your voice can be misconstrued. Make sure to write in a neutral/natural voice that can pertain to all audiences.
    • Lag Time on emails
      • In Outlook you can set up a feature that allows you to have lag time before you send the email. Then you can make changes or add additional information if you need it.
    • Reply All
      • This feature in an email can get you in trouble. When you reply to a message make sure you are not replying to everyone who received the first email.

    As you enter the professional world email can become tedious and repetitive, but errors are highly frowned upon. Be sure to stick to the basics and REVIEW your emails before you send them. Let us know your thoughts about emails. Have you ever had a bad experience or seen a common email trend? We’d love to hear your feedback!