Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Netiquette? You bet!


What is netiquette?  It’s one of those new hybrid words that basically means using etiquette skills when communicating via the internet (e-mail, social media, etc.) Etiquette in life is important and in job searching, it’s vital. It’s the same with netiquette. Just because you’re applying for jobs online, e-mailing the recruiter, and networking on LinkedIn doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be following certain rules of etiquette. Here are a few important ones:

1.       DON’T USE ALL CAPS! This is a major pet peeve of mine and it just “screams” unprofessionalism (pun intended).

2.      Use proper grammar, correct spelling, and complete sentences. Spell-check won’t save you every time. If you type “Their is my dog”, it may not get corrected to “There is my dog.” It’s best to have a second set of eyes look over your resume, cover letter, or any information you share online.

3.      Use a specific subject line for your e-mail messages. For example, if you’re applying for a job, use the job title as your subject line.

4.      Use an e-mail signature. You should always include your contact information, including phone and e-mail.

5.     Create a professional e-mail address. There’s nothing worse than seeing hotguy@gmail.com  or sassypants88@yahoo.com on a professional e-mail or at the top of a resume! Just use your first and last name (e.g. jane.johnson@yahoo.com).

6.      Be polite (please and thank you) and concise (no need to go on and on).

7.      Follow up. If you have a job interview, send a thank you letter (snail mail is best, but e-mail will do) the next day. If you are networking via e-mail and the person has responded to your request, follow up quickly. Also, don’t just rely on e-mail. Following up by phone can be very effective and more personal (but please leave a professional message, with your name and number and “Thank you”, not “Hey, wassup? Hit me up. Later.”).

Because we do so much communication via e-mail and the internet, it’s easy to get lazy with our netiquette. But having proper netiquette can mean the difference between getting a job or not, getting a promotion or not, and being perceived as professional… or not!

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