You have successfully navigated the interview process and have a job … or started your own business… congratulations. While Millennials and Gen Z are not the only ones this applies to, please don't forget that every email (and text message), you are about to write reflects on your personal ability, your professionalism as well as the company you represent. 

There is a lot riding when you hit SEND … and you roll your business etiquette dice 50 to 250 times each day. And just like at the casino, the odds are stacked against you. But all is not lost, there are steps you can take to protect your career and reputation… and improve your long-term productivity and success.

If you are thinking about email etiquette training, this is a glimpse at professional writing tips especially for Millennials and Gen Z… and a good business etiquette refresher for all generations.

So, what do you need to know on your first day… or 6000’th day on the job?  Here is a list of top email etiquette tips to help you shine and write professional email and/or text messages.

  • Use common grammar and punctuation. Capitals, commas, periods and semicolons need to become something you use all the time.
  • Use the font, font size and font colours your company has approved.
  • Use a company approved signature block - every company should have a standard brand-approved structure.
  • As you edit your email (after you’ve written it), make sure you start you email with your important message / action item AND your email follows a logical structure.
  • Avoid repetition. Whether you are repeating a main idea or repeating a word over and over – don't repeat. Repetition is distracting for your readers, so when you edit your email, watch for idea repetition and word repetition and fix repetition as necessary (get the point?)
  • Don’t use a background colour or texture.
  • Use Spell Check but don't rely on it.  Spell check will not fit your message if you use the wrong word (I mean fix your message… of course).
  • Don’t write in ALL CAPS, do not underline and do not use italics. If you want copy to stand out, use the bold feature.
  • Double check you are sending your message to the person you intend. Most email software begins to populate address suggestions as you type. So, it's easy to select the wrong name. At best it is embarrassing – at worst you may lose your job and your company lots of money and reputational damage. Recently The Bank Of England learned this the hard way when they sent an email to a news source that they didn't want the news source to see. Click Here for that story

There are many many more professional email etiquette tips I routinely teach in my email etiquette training workshops… but as a starting point please follow these 9 top etiquette tips to help you stand our and get noticed for writing well… not the other way.


Millennials will soon account for over half of the workforce… and Gen Z are entering the market now. When you participate in email training or other training and development, you stay current with communication trends and continue to build trusting, creative, profitable relationships. 

Regardless of your major at College or University, I’m betting business communication & business etiquette was not part of your studies. That’s not your fault – very little attention is paid to email etiquette or business etiquette within formal education. And realistically your ability to communicate will help you soar – or your struggle with business etiquette will undermine how seriously people take you – in other words – your success.

Take your time. Email written quickly often miss important information and sound rude, bossy and abrupt. Do not hit SEND the second you finish writing your email… unless by writing it your definition includes editing, bottom lining and spell-check. Take a few extra seconds – reread your email and protect your career.

If you want to learn more about how you and your organization can benefit from email etiquette training or our services, call us at 416.617.0462.

We work to build long-term, collaborative relationships that maximize your overall success and earnings.


Copyright © 2015 by Bruce Mayhew.


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