Email Takes Scholastica By Storm

Tips on How to Send a Good Email

Emily Kiemele
ekiemele@css.edu

Between communicating with professors, the student community thread, and every possible club and activity hurling their various information at students, the College of Saint Scholastica functions off of email.

Email is and has been the way of the professional world; Almost everyone uses it, and everyone who does is expected to know the proper etiquette. Dean of students, Megan Perry-Spears says the college would be “remiss if they didn’t prepare students using email.” This is why every student is given an account through Scholastica’s domain and is expected to use it.

Email is the most professional mode of technological communication. Its speed and ability to keep records makes it easy for many people to use. It is simple to retain a sense of professionalism and respect through emails, whereas texts seem more impersonal and less cohesive. Perry-Spears said that although texting and social media is great for activities and notifications, these means often come across as unprofessional. She noted that it is important for the school to prepare and teach all students to use email effectively. Some of Perry-Spears’ tips include: check your inbox at least once a day, learn how to digest messages, and allow 24 to 48 hours for a response.

Andrea Chartier in Career Services also has some advice for students on how transition to professional emails. She says it is important to be polite, polished, and make a good first impression because it is a potential employer or professor’s first chance to see who you are. Many students have trouble starting an email because it can be difficult knowing the correct way to address someone. Chartier says starting with “Dear ____” or “Hello” is usually a safe way to go. It is also crucial to identify yourself and the context for where you are coming from to clarify your message. Chartier reminds students to end their email with manners, using a “Sincerely,” or “Thank You” to reinforce respect.

Chartier offered some tips for students using email. An important suggestion for Apple users: take off the “Sent from my iPhone” signature at the end of your email as this can come across as a hurried or insincere message compared to one sent from a computer. Instead, replace it with a real signature including your name, school or workplace, and any positions you may have to give a context of who you are.

An important piece of using email is understanding timelines. Students should always try to check their email at least once a day, and respond to messages within a day. If for whatever reason this cannot be done, start your message with an apology for the delay. Remember: people are busy, be patient. Lastly, it is always important to follow up respectfully and kindly.

There are quite a few resources on campus for students if they have questions about sending a professional email. First, have a friend proofread messages for any grammatical or mechanical errors. There is also a job skills intern in the writing center, which is a great resource for students wishing to brush up on their professionalism. Career Services is also always available to students by appointment. They will even edit your emails, as long as they are given a timeline as to when a student would like it edited by.

Email is an important skill for students to master before they enter the workforce. It is the world’s main form of communication, and everyone should be fluent in professional jargon when addressing employers, professors, and superiors through email.