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Email etiquette for students – The 3 best practices

Most of the students are in a college for a job, or some may be to give others jobs. When you get closer to your dream, you will find yourself using emails too much to reach your path, and it is like you are not going to stop it. Even though you may have learned too many things in your college, you may not have learned how to use an email as it may feel so silly and simple. But that is not the case; if you invest some time in learning email etiquette for students, that would make a significant impact on your journey.

I am sure you all have an email id, and you have been sending emails for long. Let us go through some email etiquette for students and analyze, Are we doing it right? Email etiquette can be defined as the “Code of Conduct” for email communications among students. It refers to some principles of behavior that a student should follow while creating, drafting, sending, and answering emails.

Email etiquette for students 1: Choosing the right email address

Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of email addresses through various event registration databases and the emails I received. Most students use to submit their resume or application using an unprofessional email address, which can have a severe unfortunate effect on their job search. Using a professional email address is the primary thing in email etiquette for students. Whenever you create a new address, think of it as your online identity and how it sounds in the next 10-15 years. Think about what it says about you are as a person and a professional. Below are some of my observations and recommendations.

Don’t use a Pet/Nicknames

It’s unprofessional to use your pet/nicknames called by your parents or friends as the username of your email address. Instead, try to use your official names as per certificates and government IDs. Your employer and professional connections will be remembering your names as per your resume or official name only. It will make it difficult for them to figure out you in case of any need.

Avoid cutesy in emails ids

Another email etiquette for students while choosing your email id is to avoid cutesy. I have seen many email addresses with a prefix or suffix like cool, sweet, lovely, rocking, angel, etc. A cute email address may seem clever in your friend’s circle, but it can send the wrong message to your connections.

Include your full name in email id

Some people like to use just their first/last name alone as the username, along with some digits. Try to include your full name as there will be many Ramees, and it is tough to identify whom mail id ramees003@domain.com belongs to. If your name is too long, then it is recommended to make it short in a suitable way.

Don’t use the year of birth in email id

In many cases, you may have to apply, achieve, or accomplish something big that might not be meant for students or of your age category. In such cases, it should be your email content that reveals your maturity, and it is not good to reveal your age there.

Exclude numbers in email id

If you ever end up in a situation where you need to share your email address with someone, but they can’t it write it down, they’re likely not going to remember any numbers. It is not a good email etiquette for students to have numbers in email id. Also, it will severely affect you if you use digits like 143, 007, and similar in email addresses in a resume submitted for jobs where you will be highly professional in the career objective part.

Don’t use your Place/Family name

It makes discomfort for the people of a different language to pronounce, remember or spell the names. It should be easy to read and tell people in a venue or on the phone. It is not a good email etiquette for students or professionals to have race, creed, gender, religion, or particularly wild things in your username.

Don’t use your College/Department name

Many peoples create their first email from their college and use their college/department name when they find it difficult to get a username on their real name after multiple tries. You belong to your college or department for only a few years, and later these will become irrelevant. Keep away email addresses like rameespec@domain.com or rameescse@domain.com.

Avoid using modified spellings

I have seen some people modify their spelling to claim the username. This email looks like you have created your address in desperation. Example rameez@domain.com while I can’t claim ramees.

Try to not includes symbols

Some peoples use periods or under scrolls between the first name and last name as without it would have already claimed in email providers except Gmail (In Gmail, email to mohammed.ramees@gmail.com and mohammedramees@gmail.com goes to the same person and is the same account). It is recommended claiming one without any symbols as, in some cases, you’ll have to handwrite the email address in some paper may get misread.

Avoid domains that you think you’ll leave within three years

I have been part of a student community called Microsoft Student Partner and have got an email address as mohammed.ramees@studentpartner.com. Being proud of the community, I have used that email for many official purposes, including job applications, and later after graduation, I have lost access to the same. So, keep away such email accounts, which you think you will lose access in the future for any other communications.

Use a separate mail account for signups

Many of the online portals allow you to sign up using your email service provider or social media accounts in just a single click or the ones you may manually sign up where you may get spammed or receive their newsletters after that. It’s good email etiquette for students to start using a secondary email account for such signups. So that you can keep your primary account clean with essential emails only.

It’s not late to change to your new professional email id

If you have already used your existing email id in many places and it feels difficult for you to change. If so, forward all the emails from your old account to the newly created and uses the new one hereafter.

Try a different service provider

There is less chance that you will get your desired username in popular services like Gmail. In those cases, you can try choosing less used services like outlook, which have recently introduced having username username@outlook.in. And there is a great chance of getting one of your choices.

Use your own domain

Using your own domain is the best of all email etiquette for students listed here and a secret tool to brand yourself and impress your employer. Buy a domain on your names like www.yourdomain.com from Godaddy or any other provider and configure a mail account like mail@yourname.com. A custom domain is a mark of professionalism and highlights you, among others, and will be easy to remember.

Email etiquette for students 2: Email subject line best practices

Now we have seen how to choose the right email address. Here we will see, the other important email etiquette for students, how to craft the best a subject line for your email. If you want your email to stand out in the crowded inbox, you have to follow some email subject line best practices, which creates the first impression. The subject line of an email is like the headline of a newspaper article.

It is the first thing your recipient sees when your email pops into the inbox, and it’s crucial to get your email read. People judge the emails and will decide to open your email and read it, based on how well you crafted the subject line is. Here we will see how to craft the subject line by following some email subject line best practices in an effective form so that it will have higher open rates.

Why you should have a subject line:

Summarises the email: A perfect subject line summarizes the email, and the recipients will be able to get what you are trying to tell them. So, keep away vague subject lines like hello, update or meeting. A subject line like these won’t give your reader a clear idea of the content of the email.

Helps with retrieval: A well-crafted subject line not only indicate what the email contains, but will also help you search through your email archives to easily retrieve out any email that you are looking for at a later date. Now a day people use their mail as an archive tool.

Some email subject line best practices:

Don’t leave your subject line blank:

I have seen many students write emails with the subject line blank as they are unsure about what to write there. If you are one doing so, there is a high chance that your message might not be bothered to read it, or many may just delete it. It will annoy them and force the recipients to open the email to find out what it is about.

Keep it short and sweet:

Try to keep your subject line short ideally under 50 characters to prevent the end being cut off, particularly on mobile devices, when it appears in the recipient’s inbox. A short subject also makes sure the recipients get a complete idea about what the email is about.

Don’t Shout by using ALL CAPS:

Making all words in a subject line in capital letters is a sign of shouting and irritate people and is not at all a good email etiquette for students. So, keep things relatively quiet and don’t make yourself look like an attention seeker. It is ok to use email hashtags like URGENT, FYI, EOD in caps

Using Excessive Punctuation:

Don’t use excessive punctuation on the subject line as it will become difficult to read, and this looks spammy. There is a high chance of getting such emails ignored also. There is a practice among many to use exclamation to mark as important. Email hashtags like IMP can replace the same. Unless you are composing a subject only email, you should keep your questions in the body of the email and make your subject question mark free.

Include the 3 W’s:

If the email includes actions that you need someone (or a few people) to do, then a good email etiquette for students in subject line is to, add the Who, What, and When in an abbreviated way in the subject line. A good habit is also to type [ACTION] at the beginning of the subject line to stress the importance.

Example: [ACTION] Reminder to send the report by tomorrow at 5 PM.

If you are seeking a particular action from the recipient, feel free to include that in the subject line. Even better if you can state the timeline for a response

Example: Website updated: send your feedback by 5 PM to confirm.

Prefix Modifiers:

If the email is not an action-oriented one (i.e., the 3Ws don’t apply), then add the prefix modifiers such as URGENT, CONFIDENTIAL, IMP (Important) or FYI (For Your Information) in the subject line to explain what the email is about. Make sure that you include the prefix at the beginning of the subject line because it might get truncated or missed at the end.

Example: [URGENT] Please submit the final report before you leave.

If you don’t need a response, indicate that too.

Example: FYI: Semester exam time table attached

Write the entire email:

If your email is concise, then use the subject line itself as the whole email. Just like you would like in a text message. Suffix it with EOM, which stands for the “end of the message.”

Example: Bring the portable LCD projector to the staff meeting tomorrow <EOM>

Change the subject only when needed:

When you are replying to an email, avoid modifying the subject line unless you have to. That’s because it will make it harder to keep track of the conversation and search for any emails later on. Most email programs identify emails based on the subject line text. Some even group them using conversation threading (where messages are visually grouped with their replies), so changing the subject line will mess that feature up.

When you are replying to an email, change the subject line when:

a). The topic itself changes (i.e., the original subject line doesn’t apply anymore):

Start a new email thread with a new subject line and state something like: “Team – I’m moving this conversation to a new email thread so that things don’t get confusing.”

b). You are removing recipients from an email (due to confidentiality reasons):

Start a new subject line by adding a prefix modifier like [Removing Faculties] or [Internal only] so that everyone is aware

Email etiquette for college students 3: What is Cc and Bcc in email and When to Use it

What is Cc and Bcc in email

Now we are going to see what is Cc and Bcc in an email and when to use To, Cc, and Bcc fields in your email. A single email may need to send to multiple recipients. These are different fields where you can put your recipients. Here is how to confidently navigate those fields so you’ll never end up making a blunder.

CC stands for “Carbon Copy,” and BCC stands for “Blind Carbon Copy.” There is no confusion if you are sending the email to just only one person. In most email clients by default, the Cc and Bcc will not be visible, and you need to click on the options to make it visible.

When to use To field

To field is the most commonly used field and is used for the primary recipients of the email. Put the email address of those recipients if it is for their attention, and you require an action or response from them. It is also a good practice to include all the people you included in the to field in your greeting or address.

Example: Hi Ram, Raj, Gokul, Anny.

If there are more than four people in the ‘to’ field, it is ok to start with Hi all or Hello Team.

When to use CC field

The Cc field is for people that you’re not talking to, but you want them to know what’s going on. You use this field when you are not expecting your recipient to take any action or respond to your email. For example, you seek some permission from your HOD through email, and you Cc your class tutor in the loop. Here the people included can see who the list is. That is, the people in Cc can see who the mail is To, and the ones in the To can see who is there in the Cc.

Many times, you may come across scenarios where you may have to reply to the person in Cc. In such cases, you have to move the person from Cc to To. Good email etiquette for students is to announce your use of the CC field to the emails of the primary recipient. For example, “I’m cc’ing my colleague Ram who’ll be following up with you for the status of the project.” Use this feature with utmost care also. Using CC as a power play to make others feel less important if they’re actively involved in a decision or project will cause problems.

When to use BCC field

The third field is the blind carbon copy, the Bcc, which is a little tricky. BCC is a way of cc’ing someone on mail without letting other recipients knowing that the person has been cc’ed. For example, If you send an email to your HOD, cc’ied to your tutor, and blind carbon copied to your friend, neither your HOD nor your tutor can’t see your friend’s email address in the list. And they will be unaware of the fact that a third person is reading their message. Anybody who’s blind carbon copied is hidden from the rest of the recipients. Use this option with caution, as in some situations, it may cause danger or embarrassment. For example, if your friend on Bcc accidentally hit reply all instead of a reply, this alerts the primary recipients that at least one other person was secretly copied. To avoid such risk, you can just forward the original message to the third person.

The best use of the blind carbon copy field is to protect one another’s privacy. For example, if you need to email a large list of people the same information but those people shouldn’t be able to see the email addresses of all the other recipients. 

In this instance, you may want to include your email address in the TO field and keep everyone’s email secret in Bcc.

Summary

If you’re talking to the person and they have a reason to respond, use the To field. If it’s just a for your information or keeping people abreast of what’s going on with a project or a particular communication, use the Cc field. The best use of the blind carbon copy field is to protect one another’s privacy. Misusing any of these fields can make you look like a rookie. Use them well, and don’t let people get hung up on wow why did they use the Cc field when they’re addressing that person. Before you hit, send. Check those fields carefully to make sure you’re making the right choices and adjust your options if you need to.

This list will continue with more parts of email etiquette for students

Also, check out LinkedIn Best Practices for Students

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