Quick Quiz: Email Etiquette for the Modern Lady

Email is one of the most common forms of communication in the workplace. Every word is a depiction of your brand at work as a young, motivated, career girl.

It is important to create a tone, structure, and to structure your words wisely. As we now communicate and keep paper trail through our inboxes, Email Etiquette is definitely something that must me ingrained in a Career Girl. How do you fare in Email Etiquette? Answer the questions below to find out.

1) Do you Try Your Best to Respond to All Emails? If there are a large string of emails, catch up on the emails and respond to the most recent. The group needs to know you have received the information, and you can follow up later in person. If this is an email to thank you for your help, there is no urgent need to respond with a ‘welcome”.

2) Do You Use “Reply All” ONLY When Necessary? Sometimes, there are additional people on the email thread who don’t need to know the details. For example, managers and directors can be included on an email chain for information, but don’t need to know your exact contribution and questions. Only include the necessary parties to alleviate any frustrations for the readers of the email thread.

3)  Do You Always include a Subject? Keep the subject short and sweet. The reader must be able to read the subject and anticipate the content of the email. If this is a request or there is a follow up task, include ‘REQUEST’ or ‘BY [DATE]’ to illustrate urgency.

4) Do You Avoid Excessive Punctuation? I am a victim of this as our generation loves to emote via typed word. Ellipses and enthusiastic exclamation marks are great when emailing your friends and family. In work-related emails, this may make you sound like an excited little girl who got her favorite popsicle. Ellipses can also come off as rude or daft. To stay safe, avoid exclamation points and ellipses, and stick to the period to end everything.

5) Do You Check Your Email for Proper Grammar? Ensure your spelling and grammar are correct. It is easy to get lethargic and miss a capitalized letter or comma. Maintaining high grammar standards sets you apart at work, and presents you as a an established girl in the working world.

6) Do You Avoid Texting Lingo? Yes, plz. Texting contractions and emoticons/emojis should never be included in an email. The use of this lingo can be confusing and takes away from your professional integrity. It is best to keep the emoticons in your personal correspondences.

7) Do You Say Please/Thanks Appropriately? There is a place and time to use ‘Please’ and ‘Thanks’ at work. In emails, ‘Please’ is only used when making a request of another co-worker. ‘Thanks’ or ‘Thank You’ is only used once receiving help from a co-worker. Any other instance is unnecessary.


If you answered YES to all questions, then you have the right attitude towards professional emails!

If you said no to some questions, there is definitely room for improvement, but that’s OK! Sending E-mails as a professional can commonly be overlooked and confused for habits acquired from casual e-mails. Just remember to know the difference, moving forward. You can also try to read more books on how to improve your communication skills in the workplace. I personally recommend: [amazon template=product&asin=0078036801] or [amazon template=product&asin=0073385174].

While communication via E-mails is fast and easy, make sure to still put thought into it. Proper workplace communication is definitely something that can help you earn the respect and credit that you are working for as a young career girl.

Akshaya Vardhan

Akshaya Vardhan is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she studied Statistics. After receiving an M.S. in Statistics, Akshaya pursued her career as a Consultant with a Chicago Insurance company. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, traveling, and (lots of) food. Follow Akshaya on Twitter @AkshayaVardhan