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Susan Geary CCW is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and owner of 1st RateResumes.
Visit her website at or email her at this link.

Minding your Ps and Qs on the WWW

Minding your manners on the internet should be a given. Unfortunately since

the invention of email, most of us jumped right in before learning the

rules. That means stepping on toes without ever knowing it. If you’ve ever

forwarded a joke or your entire photo album of your wedding, chances are you

’ve broken some rules and shown some ignorance. Just like your résumé and

cover letter, your electronic communication should leave a great impression.

Here’s what you need to know when communicating by email.

1. Choose your email address wisely. Do not select an address that gives

away obvious information such as your date of birth or your favorite

hobbies. Be cautious of using your full name if you don’t want to give away

your gender. The same rule applies for offensive and descriptive email

addresses. is not the type of address you want to

include on your résumé. You also don’t want to put your business email

address on there either. That tells your hiring recruiters that you spend

time and company resources looking for work elsewhere. Consider selecting

an email address that is portable and can travel with you regardless of who

your ISP is. It’s now affordable to purchase a domain and select your own

email address.

2. Be careful of what you write in an email. Email is not private and it

can be forwarded forever. And speaking of forwarding, you should never

forward any email unless you have the permission of the author. That

includes chain emails urging you to forward the message to 5 friends in the

next 2 minutes or risk some awful tragedy. That’s not friendship, that’s a

guilt trip! These are hoaxes. So are emails that encourage you to join an

Internet petition, as petitions circulated on the Internet have no validity

whatsoever. The best way to really find out if Microsoft is giving away a

free Disney vacation, or if Nieman Marcus really did rip off a woman over a

chocolate chip cookie recipe, is to visit

3. Watch what you attach. When sending emails, respect bandwidth. Do not

send 20 photos of your new baby, or any huge files that need to be

downloaded. Some people still use dial up service and downloading emails

with large files attached can take up to 30 minutes or more. Instead, set

up a website, and send along a link for people to go visit at their

convenience. Also, don’t send an attachment without a message in the body

of an email. Savvy internet users are very wary of viruses and attachments,

and it will likely be trashed rather than opened.

4. Don’t read personal email at work. Your computer department can watch

every website you visit. Even though they may not be able to read your

email at hotmail or, they know where you are and why you are

there. They tend to look at that as using company resources for personal

use, and that’s usually outlined in the company policy as forbidden.

5. Keep personal and business email separate. Don’t give out your business

address to your friends. You never know who’s reading your mail up there in

the corporate office. These are the small things that keep workers from

being promoted or worse yet, fired from their jobs.

This is just a partial list of some of the most common email faux paus. For

further reading, check out Netiquette by Virginia Shea published by Albion

Books. And, if you really want to test your knowledge netiquette, check out

the quiz posted at