Question and Answer on Email Etiquette

Article by Matthew Coppola, Client Centric 

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Emailing, Email Etiquette1. What is the biggest mistake people make when sending business emails?

The biggest mistake would have to be sending emails with too many subjects.

If you are sending an email, make sure that it is on one subject alone, not many. Because when people receive emails with too many subjects, the email respondents end up forgetting to reply to most of the different matters.

So I suggest when sending emails, make sure they are on one subject, and if you have a number of matters that need dealt with, keep them as separate emails.

2. What is a common mistake people make without realising they are making a mistake?

Bad grammar – forgetting to spell check is a common mistake people make that they don’t realize.

When sending emails throughout the day, we may become busy and so will rush through an email, and sending it without double checking our grammar and punctuation.

Make sure spell check is always turned on. However, spell check misses mistakes like this:

“I this due by Tuesday”

Spell check would say that is correct. When really it isn’t and should be:

“I need this due by Tuesday”

So it is always good to double check our emails before sending.

Ways you can quickly check for typo mistakes:

Read through the email but only concentrate on the words and their structure, not what the email is reading. This way you will be able to find mistakes easier without getting caught up in the email

3. How should an email be properly constructed?

–         Specific subject


BAD:  Next Tuesday’s appointment

GOOD: Appointment for Tuesday the 20th of August 2010 with John Smith

–         Introduction

An email should start off with a good introduction which captures your reader’s attention and helps them to follow on through the email:


Hello John,

Hope you had a good weekend OR

Thank you for your time today to discuss the matter with you.

–         Body

This is the base of the email.

Key information for the reader is in this part of the email. Whatever you need to ask or say put it in here.

–         Conclusion

Always end an email off in a positive note or to recap your email.


Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information

Kind regards,


I look forward to seeing you next week and discussing the proposition with you.

Kind regards,

4. How important is good email etiquette?

Very important.

A good email shows professionalism so sending a well written email will impress your client or customer

5. What are the possible ramifications of bad email etiquette?

–          Perception by the email respondent as unprofessionalism and lack of care in the way your conducting business

–          The email respondent may disregard the email and forget about it

–          The email may be passed on as junk mail if the subject line is too general or small.

–         The use of emoticons and acronyms like BTW (by the way) are way too informal. Not everybody knows what they mean. Readers could even get the wrong impression of your email writing skills.

Controlling yourself from peer pressure by work colleagues – how you can cope!

What is Peer pressure?

Peer pressure is when group of peers start exerting influence to persuade us to change our attitudes, values, or behaviour so that we meet their desired group norms. Unfortunately peer-pressure doesn’t stop at school. It follows us right through to the workplace.

Various instances of peer pressure can occur at work. For example it may be that a co-worker wants you to go out for drinks after work but you don’t really want to, may be continuous junk mails circulating around the office that try and capture your attention or could be from a co-worker asking you to cover their shift for them. These are just a few examples of peer-pressure occurring in the workplace.

Is it natural to feel this way?

It is only natural to want to be popular and accepted by your peers at work. Influence from your peers shouldn’t be viewed as necessarily a problem. Take the illustration of a butcher sharpening a knife. The butcher turns a blunt knife into a sharp knife ready to cut. If your work peers have mature, professional and respectful attitudes in the workplace, they can actually help sharpen your knowledge, skills and abilities in the workplace.

However not all workplaces offer positive and up building influences from work peers. Many of your colleagues in your working life, both blue collar and white collar, will lack in professionalism, honesty and respect. They may have views and opinions that are unreliable and even false. So if you do become under the control of your peers, whether it be to cover someone’s shift or gossip about another co-worker, it may be little more than the blind leading the blind. You would just be as much of a fool as they are.

I am starting to feel upset and negative, what do I do?

Have you started forming a negative attitude toward a co-worker or management? Have you noticed any changes in your attitude, behaviour or actions at work in order to fit in? It is true to say that no one can make you do anything you don’t want to do, just like the saying that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Ultimately it is your decision.

You may think it’s easy to not be intimidated by what your colleagues will think of you, but when you are faced with peer pressure it’s another story. For example, what would you do in the following circumstances?

One of your co-workers asks for your opinion on another co-worker who keeps coming to work half-an-hour late. You know that they are gossiping and don’t know the full story, but they’re waiting to hear what you think.

You receive junk mail circulating around the office that has been forwarded by a colleague. Everybody else is replying to the email, and you feel obligated to make a comment.

They aren’t easy situations to deal with are they? Most of the time, peer pressure won’t be direct from your colleagues, but may actually be indirect like from the last example. You don’t have to reply to the email circulating around the office, but because everybody is doing it, you may feel obligated to do the same. So how can you build up the strength to stand up to peer pressure from your colleagues?

Giving in to peer-pressure at work is the same as allowing others to do the thinking for you. The moment you step back to think about the actions that you’re going to make because of peer influences, is the moment that you will have the courage to stand up to them. Using your own thinking ability and knowledge and not relying on your co-workers foolish reasoning’s is the best way to overcome what it is you are feeling pressured to do.

It doesn’t matter where you work, be it in an office or on the factory floor, you may be disliked or scorned at because you are using your thinking abilities. Remember, you are the one with the greatest strength than your co-workers who give in to their foolish passions. Take for example the co-workers who ridicule management and their decisions. Are they heading into a successful direction in their career? Of course not! Their attitude won’t just stop them from progressing in the business, but every other workplace they work at. So is that where you want your career to end up at? I doubt it.

How do I cope with peer pressure?

Peer pressure will follow you everywhere, regardless of where you work. You can’t avoid this at work because you need to work alongside your colleagues to fulfil your job responsibilities. So what do you do? First thing is you need to keep your cool. If a colleague or supervisor says anything to you that makes you feel pressured or anxious at work, you need to keep your cool and be upfront with them.

We will look at two scenarios – indirect and direct peer pressure. An example of direct pressure would be if you accidentally arrived 10 minutes late to a meeting and a co-worker says to you “just wake up did you?” this then makes you feel under pressure because you arrived late and you’re not meeting your job commitments. You should be upfront with anyone that puts pressure on you at work, but in a mature and responsible manner. In this example, your reply should be “what are you trying to imply bob?” this will put the co-worker on the spot and have to justify why they are putting pressure on you.

Or in our previous example earlier, if a co-worker were to ask you to cover their shift, your first reply should be “No, I am not going to cover your shift” and if they ask you why you won’t, put them on the spot by replying “why should I have to cover your shift, am I not entitled to making my own decisions about what I do and don’t?” this then allows you to be assertive and let the other person know that you make decisions on your own, and not be guided by someone else.

The top 3 ways to find a new job

Finding a new job isn’t easy especially in tough economic times. Generally during quiet times over the economic cycle, there are usually more people looking for work then there are available jobs. For every job advertised there most likely will be over a hundred people applying. Keeping this in mind, when looking for work you want to make sure that you branch out into using different job searching techniques. Sometimes it may just be trial and error to see what works for you.

So here are my top 3 ways to find a new job:

1. Apply online with a tailored cover letter and resume specific to that industry.

2. Cold call employers in your industry seeking work that has not yet been advertised (reverse marketing yourself)

3. Drop by local businesses with your resume and cover letter seeking work that has not yet been advertised (again, reverse marketing yourself face to face)


An Experienced Resume Writer You Can Trust!

Recently I was asked by a client for their own peace of mind, about my experience and skills in resume writing and employment services. And rightly so! Before anyone hands over money for a resume writing service or any other service for that matter, they have the right to know who is doing the job for them and how credible they really are. This client prompted me to write an article about myself (vain I know) for everyone to read and acknowledge my ability to write a professional and personalized resume that sells to a prospective employer in whatever industry they may be in. 

At the age of 25, I now have over 6 years’ varied experience in the Employment Services and Training Industry. I have worked for Job Services Australia as a Recruitment Consultant and now Disability Employment Services as a Disability Employment Services Consultant assisting local people with Mental Health disabilities in gaining sustainable and gainful employment and being part of that process right from initial registration through to post placement and on-going support. My background in the training sector has been as a Business Development Manager. Moving into employment services, I combined my marketing and business development experience to be effective in building loyal relationships with employers and other stakeholders critical to the success of my clients.

Over the years I have developed extensive skills and techniques from reading numerous books and trialing different approaches in Resume & Cover Letter Writing, LinkedIn Profile Writing, Addressing Selection Criterias, Applying for Jobs online and Career Coaching. My industry experience is so vast and spread out and includes jobs in Mining, Construction, Administration, Health Care, Manufacturing, Retail, Security Services, CEO and Executive level and so many more industries.

I understand what employers want and how to communicate effectively to them. I know how to properly read a job advertisement and interpret what they really want and then address this in the cover letter. This has proved very successful and my testimonials will prove that. I am aware that applying for work shouldn’t be rushed and that employers can tell if you are just sending out your resume for the sake of it. This applies to all employers and jobs whether they be in Melbourne or Perth or in the Pilbara region of Northern WA.

Writing Selection Criteria’s can also be very difficult for people because it is so time consuming and there may be so much you want to say but if you do go on then it will be far too long and may not be read thoroughly. To key to writing a good and effective Selection Criteria is to keep it to the point and give the employer just enough information that leave’s them wanting to know more.  For each criteria, you should have around 1 to 2 examples maximum proving that you have met the criteria in your past employment. Each criteria should have a paragraph with an introduction, body and conclusion.

My academic is a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Economics at Curtin University of Western Australia and a Graduate Certificate in Career Education and Development at RMIT University.

Why every job you apply for should have a personalized cover letter

Every job you apply for whether it be online, in the paper, internally with the company you work for or by networking, needs a personalized cover letter specific to that company and the objectives of the role. Too many times people apply for numerous jobs with the same resume and the same cover letter and they wonder why they are not getting any interviews! And if they are getting interviews, they why are they not getting the job?!

The simple reason is that when a company puts a job advertisement out and has a selection criteria attached to it, they are doing that for a reason. Now the same applies in the western world as it does in Melbourne, Perth or Adelaide – all the employers are the same! They are not doing it because they are a charity, they specifically put a job out because they are willing to invest in someone to perform a specific duty or set of duties and want someone who will meet their expectations and perform. Added to that they also want someone that will fit in with their team culture and has done similar work in the past – again keyword – “experience required”.

Every job you apply for must have a personalised cover letter – personalised in the way that it addresses what they are looking for, in the subject line is the job, has the contact name and company name and is dated accordingly. It shows that you took the time and effort to address what they want and took an interest in them and the job!


Author: Matthew Coppola

Matthew Coppola – Employment Advisor

BComm(Econs), GradCert (CE&D)

Matthew Coppola has more than 6 years’ experience in the recruitment, staffing and training industries with a focus on employment services, specifically Job Services Australia and Disability Employment Services.  He has experience in business development, marketing, sales and training.

His expertise can be found in the Community Services & Non-Profit and the Education & Training sectors. 

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