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SMC|Student Services|Career Services Center |Etiquette Tip of the Week

Etiquette Tip of the Week

How To Proof Your Email....

Zombies are in this Halloween. Neighbor kid is trying to decide between zombie doctor or zombie nurse.  I think zombie dentist would be infinitely more frightening, but that's just me.


In a sense, we all wake up in the morning looking like zombies.  When we peer into the mirror first thing, our hair is a mess, we have one eye open, mouth slightly agape, and our clothing looks like it has been slept in.  We might even be a little smelly.  We would never show up to an interview or an important meeting looking like this.  We would clean up first.

So why then, would we send a business-related email before it has been cleaned up?  Our emails are a reflection of ourselves -- they are part of our image.  Sending out an email to a potential client or employer with texting lingo, full of grammatical errors and even misspelling the recipient's name or company... is like showing up in our pajamas.

How do you proofread your email so it is less scary?
1) Read the email first for grammar. 
Are you using correct punctuation: periods, commas, question marks and even an occasional exclamation point? 
Did you correctly use words like where/wear/ware, hear/here, there/their, our/are, to/too its/it's? (It's "it's" if you can break it into "it is.")
Did you eliminate duplicate or excess words left over when you edited a sentence?
Did you separate run-on sentences into smaller sentences? (A run-on sentence happens when you try to cram too many thoughts into one sentence.)
2) Read the email a second time. 
Recite each word slowly and deliberately, so you hear each word and how they connect. Mistakes are overlooked when you hear your "composing" voice and what you meant to say, instead of reading the actual words.

Remember, our emails are part of our image, just like our clothing and hygiene choices.  Poor proofing makes potential employers and clients want to scream.  Have a happy and safe Halloween and don't send out your business emails looking like zombies.

 The Etiquette Tip of the Week comes courtesy of the Culture and Manners Institute.