3 Ways to Improve Your Professional Email Etiquette

May 13, 2015

Our Office Manager engages with a lot of people related to our regular business and our LAMP Camp program. Obviously, before beginning her job she had to be quite savvy in these kinds of interactions, and the longer she’s been in the role, the more she’s learned.

Recently, she encountered a rather frustrating situation with an applicant to LAMP Camp, and even though that person will not ultimately be a participant, she wanted to make sure that this person left the interactions a better professional than she entered into them. This is part of mentoring others and helping them learn and grow.

The following suggestions are the honest feedback that our Office Manager passed on from her interactions with the applicant, hoping, truly, that the suggestions would aid her future success.

  1. Read all correspondence carefully and thoroughly. If you have any questions, take the time to compile them together into one succinct email. Sending multiple one or two question emails in rapid succession is unprofessional and can be seen as disrespectful to the recipient.
  2. Do not send the same email multiple times if you do not hear back from the recipient within your preferred time frame. Respect the time and schedules of others and understand that their schedules are not meant to accommodate the needs of one individual. It is very common that business emails are not answered within the same workday.
  3. If you state that you will arrive somewhere at a certain date and time, it’s important to do so. Avoid changing that date and time repeatedly and especially arriving late. Admittedly, passing along this kind of advice to another person can be questionable. Is it appropriate? Is it welcome? Will it do any good?

She determined ultimately that this person had applied to spend time with us in a professional mentorship program, and under the umbrella of the intended nature of that relationship, this kind of advice was appropriate. Moreover, since this wasn’t the first time something like this had happened – just the most egregious – she decided that this could be shared here with others to hopefully provide some benefits to their professionalism and email etiquette.

If you know someone in need of such nudging, hopefully you can pass this along to them.

What else do you recommend to people to improve their email etiquette?