Email Etiquette for NIT Silchar Intern and GradSchool applicants Manabendra Saharia B.Tech ,7thsem, Class of 2011 Dept .of Civil Engineering National Institute of Technology, Silchar Published online: October 2010
Email is the single most important tool for connecting with people who will be relevant to your professional success.
Even though widely used, few people understand the functionality of Email in personal and professional life
Indian students are widely known for their lack of Email Etiquettes (Just like our lack of etiquette over Phone)
Your Intern/Graduate School application depend highly on your ability to elicit responses from Professors/Professionals.
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Basic Fundae Always add a Signature in your Email Example: Regards, Name B.Tech, Semester 1 of 8 Dept. of Civil Engineering National Institute of Technology, Silchar Phone: +91.00000.00000 Homepage: (If you have one) Advantages:
Think twice how an Email will affect your Personal Branding. You are what your Email projects you to be. If used improperly, you may end up seeming as an immature goofy undergraduate to your evaluator. Remember also to do a Spell Check.
NEVER send inappropriate content! And jokes, limericks, forwards etc to your Professional contacts (Professors/Graduate Students/Alumni/Seniors). They are not only irritating but sometimes people may mark you as Spam and he/she may never read your Email again. You are not in Class X anymore
Keep Email Brief – Short and Simple is the way to go. Usually not more than one Screen length. Its not a letter to your high school sweetheart!
Always use Professional fonts-No comic Sans and Gothic fonts.
Email Content - Intro Two Lines are sufficient Hello Prof/Dr X, I am a B.Tech pre-final year (5th sem) student of Civil Engineering from NIT Silchar and I am writing to explore the possibility of pursuing a project under your Guidance in the ensuing summer of 2011. (Intern Apping) Or I am a B.Tech final year student of Civil Engineering from NIT Silchar in India and I am applying to your university for Graduate studies in Transportation Engineering for fall 2012. Since my research interests are similar to yours, I am writing to explore the possibility of a position in your lab. (GradSchool Apping) Tips If the Professor is Indian, address him as Sir/Dr. X Sir If foreign, always address him as Prof/Dr. X. No Sir business. (V. Imp) IITians / NITians have this ridiculous habit of mentioning in the first para of Email how prestigious these Instis are in India. There’s no need for that as they already know! FOCUS ACCELERATE ACHIEVE
Email Content - Body Two short Paragraphs are sufficient.
Content - Some people are of the opinion that body should contain your entire CV or at the end of your Email. Many disagree including me as it makes your Email too cramped. Also better options are available (Later).
First Para - Write your Research Interests/Areas of Interest here. Also, your CPI (If it’s a good one. Needn’t mention if not). If you have read some paper of the Prof, write a short line mentioning you have. Also write your skills if any –(Like GIS/ StaadPro/ ANSYS/ Matlab)
Second Para – Time to boast . Papers, Projects, Trainings, Internships, Scholarships et al. Don’t elaborate too much. Second year students may mention your Techfest paper presentations/contests winnings/coding war wins too. Third year students should elaborate on your Summer (After 4th semester) and Winter (After 5th semester) Projects/Trainings.
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Email Content – Sign off No more than three lines I’ll be more than happy to work on the project beyond the summer too. Please find my attached CV for your kind perusal. Anticipating an encouraging response. Regards, SIGNATURE FOCUS ACCELERATE ACHIEVE
Active Professors are VERY busy people. They have to take classes, write grant proposals and reports, guide B.Tech/Graduate students, Work on Projects and Publish papers.
Most Profs receive HUNDREDS of Emails daily. They won’t spend more than 10 secs glancing at your boring mail. Very less chances they will open your attachment.
You will need this if you apply for Graduate Studies. It is the best way to let people know about your work and existence.
Tips: Embed/Type your CV in the website and send the link instead of an attachment. Chances of a reply from a Professor becomes tenfold. Needn’t know HTML or Flash! Use Google Sites or Weebly (better). Best time to make it is during Summer break after 4th semester. After that, continuously build your CV as you gather more qualifications. Elaborate! Put your codes/papers/project reports/Scanned copies of certificates etc. Helps in keeping track of your progress in B.Tech years. MAKE YOUR ACADEMIC/PROFESSIONAL HOMEPAGE FOCUS ACCELERATE ACHIEVE
Final Power Bits Don’t become TOO formal. Indian students have the bad habit of following their school grammar books too literally. You are not in Queen’s land anymore! So no ‘due deference’, ‘due respect and humble submission', 'I hope I am not taking too much of your valuable time’ crap. NVR EVR write Emails in SMS English! Its irritating on a PC screen and wholly unprofessional. It shows that you don’t give enough importance to the person to spend time writing a properly formatted email. Most busy people won’t reply. Don’t send attachments in proprietary formats as far as possible-like .psd etc. Try .pdf. If you MUST, then send it in the format that most people are likely to use. Keep the tone of the Email positive by using positive and action words. Be formal at all times in professional communication. Everything in your Email should project that you mean business. Nothing else. So no Hey! And Howdy! FOCUS ACCELERATE ACHIEVE