I get it. It’s sooooo much easier to use the word “like” at least 30 times in every sentence we speak. It’s even easier to completely omit all forms of punctuation and separate thoughts or sentences by sending them in their own individual messages. And guess what? It’s even easier than that to reply with a bitmoji to accurately express your attitude or emotion as a reaction to something you read.
But when do we stop?
We’re young adults; we’re in the transitional stage between lifelong work and play. We have to learn to say goodbye to the LOL’s and JK’s of texting and hello to the “per my last email” phrases of the professional world.
As a college student, “fake it ‘til you make it” is a motto I live my entire life by. So I’m here to spread my grammatical wisdom upon you to ensure you can create the illusion of professionalism to your professors and future employers. Here are some easy steps to fake it until you make it soon enough:
1. Remove the word “just” from your vocabulary.
This one is detrimental. This is the first thing I make sure I completely avoid in my emails. For example, if you’re typing an email to a professor as to why you need an extension on your essay, don’t try to soften the blow, and “floof” it up. Come clean and say it!
I apologize for the inconvenience, but I was just curious if I could have an extra day to write my essay. A lot is going on and I need more time to ensure my essay meets your criteria.
I apologize for the late notice; a lot has come up lately and would like to ask for an extension on the essay. I want to ensure my essay not only meets, but exceeds the criteria.
Simple as that. Not only do you get your point across, but you don’t seem like you’re begging for an extension. The word “just” gives the implication that you’re coming across as timid, or meek. Let your professor think you’ve got it together and cut the word “just” out of your vocabulary altogether.
2. Keep your messages brief and to-the-point
No one likes opening an email seems longer than the Harry Potter series. Say what you want to say, and nothing more! If you’re curious about a job opportunity, here’s an example of what you could say.
To whom it may concern,
I came across a job listing on www.insertlink.com/here and was curious to know more details about the position. I have history and experience in this particular field and would love to discuss it further.
Seemingly Calm Jobseeker
Don’t over explain your intent. Short and sweet lets the recipient know that you mean business! It’ll help out in the long run.
The last bit of information I’ll leave you with is this: proofread. This seems like a given, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve accidentally misspelled my OWN name in an email, not to mention keywords within the body message. The English language is challenging enough as it is, so go back, reread your email, and make sure you spell everything correctly, i.e., know the difference between your/you’re, there/their/they’re, and the spelling of words like necessary, definitely, and principle.
We get it, no one is perfect, not even in the business world, but we can get a few steps closer with seemingly minimal effort. Even though college professors will still respond to thoroughly detailed and professional emails with “ok cool thanks” and “yeah that’s fine”, you’re in control of how the adult world perceives you. So until you get there, let them think you’re already there.