Sent from firstname.lastname@example.org
Sadly, this isn't an email I receive just once in a while. I have found more and more people think that this is an appropriate way to contact a professional when they want to learn more about the product, and in my case, studying abroad in North America. While I find it unimpressive and less than professional to receive this type of message, I can’t help but wonder if students are actually emailing colleges and universities using this format.
As a former admissions representative, first impressions mattered tremendously and had a big impact on how seriously we took your application and file. If you send a well-organized email with proper grammar, it shows that you have put forth an effort and the time to construct a simple message. A well-articulated email is a great way to show a college or university why they should be interested in you. However a poorly articulated email, regardless of how long or to the point, will put off a representative as they deem you unfit/not ready for the rigors of college.
Here are 3 very simple steps you can take to prepare for future communication with colleges and universities:
1. Get a new email address, especially if your primary account declares your love for Miley Cyrus or your favorite team. Remember: all official college documents (applications, SAT tests, etc) require a valid email address. One easy and simple example of an email address is to use your first initial of your first name and your last name, or your first name and first initial of your last name. Your new email address should ONLY be used for your college search documents and sign-ups, such as the SAT, college applications, visa interviews or even simple college inquires for more information. Having an email address set up for college correspondence will help ensure that you don’t miss out on any important updates, deadlines, etc.
2. Pay attention to your grammar and articulation, and spell-check your email and read it out loud quickly before you send it. Again, in most cases, this is the first interaction the college has with you, and first impressions are everything; you want to show why your application should be considered and that you know how to write. While it’s normal for people to “type like they talk”, it’s certainly not appropriate to construct an email in this manner.
3. The last one is the simplest; don’t forget to “sign off” on your email. I get countless of emails where students just ask a question and don’t state their name at the end of the email. Courtesy and convenience, it’s that simple.
Remember that while you may be busy and just need to send a quick email, it’s never okay to send a poorly constructed message from a less-than-professional email account to a college representative. If you create a new email account and focus on your grammar, spelling and what you’re trying to say in your message and you’ll get a professional response back!
Good luck and happy communicating!