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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com on a professional e-mail or at the top of a resume! Just use your first and last name (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org).
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!