E-mail Etiquette: RICE

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 Nicole Eisenberg > University of Maryland, College Park > Marketing & Finance > Sophomore, Photo by Career Vanity

Proper e-mail etiquette has been lost and is hard to find in our society today. You would have never known that the easiest way to find it is in a typical side for your sesame chicken: a little R.I.C.E.

Respectful salutations and closings to an email are of utmost importance (in addition to using correct grammar throughout the body of the e-mail). “E-mail has completely de-formalized the written word in business, and while business has benefited tremendously from the improved communication, it has also suffered from the lack of respect for the written word because e-mail is so easy,” says Mark Weinfeld, Director of Strategic Planning for DGWB Advertising and Communications in Santa Ana, California. It is really as simple as addressing your email ‘Dear Mr. ABC,’ or ‘Ms. XYZ,’ and closing with a simple ‘Sincerely, Best Applicant Ever’ or ‘Best, Your Most Excellent Student.’ 
Introduce the topic, and describe it precisely. This all begins with the subject line. Even putting a simple message such as your name and course number or the position in which you are applying is helpful. Professionals and professors like Ann Shinnar, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Lander College for Men/Touro College, will not even open e-mails that do not have a subject. In the body of the e-mail, make sure to be concise, precise, and straightforward about what you are asking or telling the person that you are trying to communicate with.
Carefully choose your e-mail address. Weinfeld explains, “You would be surprised how many ‘[email protected]’ or ‘[email protected]’ come through with a resume attached.” Suffice to say, you do not want to be this person because more times than not, your e-mail will be headed straight to the virtual trashcan. “Make sure your email address reflects your intentions”; choose something involving your name to help a recruiter or professor remember you.
Emotion should not be pouring out of your e-mail. Shinnar explains that “professors don’t want to receive a long e-mail explaining how hard and long you studied for the test but just blanked out during the exam hour. It is better to make an appointment and discuss your performance during office hours.” Send an email requesting to meet and discuss your concerns calmly and in person where your language cannot be misconstrued as easily as via the web.
So grab your chopsticks and your computer, and ?? (enjoy) your RICE and e-mailing!

College Magazine Staff

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