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E-mail Etiquette and Other Corporate Communication

How to send a proper e-mail and voice mail.

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College students might get intimidated when first entering the corporate world. The formal atmosphere is a far cry from the relaxed world of the university. One question entry-level workers might be asking themselves: how do I send a formal e-mail? Don't worry here's a quick run down.


Formal e-mail should be just that - formal. This means no more smiley faces and sign offs with a little joke. Keep your message to the point, concise and clean. And what about emails you fear will be misunderstood? According to career advice firm, about 51% of polled professionals believe their messages are often misinterpreted as mean or angry. Adding little smiles to the text does not change how words come across. Instead, focus on keeping your messages short and focused.

Some other e-mail tips:

  • Avoid little abbreviations
  • Break your message up into easy-to-read paragraphs
  • Write in lower case, upper case should be used sparingly

Also, always reread your e-mail before sending. Once you click 'Send', there's no turning back. Spelling errors and grammar problems say you don't have the time to care about what you write to somebody.

Voice Mail

When leaving a voice mail, keep it nice and slow. Many company speaker systems aren't exactly of the best quality. Keep your speech clear so the message gets across.

Your message should be nice and short. Not saying you don't have a beautiful voice, but most people don't enjoy listening to the machine. According to business life publication Fast Company (, most people decide to delete or save the message in the first 5-15 seconds. Always keep your messages under 30 seconds. (Most of the time aim for 10 seconds.)

Make sure you repeat both your name and your phone number. Say your phone number twice so the listener has time to write it down without replaying the message.

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