If you are reading this and not in college yet, I must inform you that checking emails is a daily habit for many college students. As a Viterbi student, I get anywhere from 10 to 30 emails per day from professors, fellow students, USC administration, job recruiters, student organizations, Lyft, Amazon, Postmates, and more. I also often have to send out emails to professionals, groups of students, strangers that I need something from, etc. With nearly four years of rigorous emailing experience, I feel qualified to give you some advice on how to use your email (specifically, gmail) so that you present your best self to others and don’t lose a job interview invite in your inbox!
- Get the gmail app on your phone so that you can check your email at any time of the day.
- Star or “mark as unread” emails that you MUST respond to.
- A good rule of thumb is to respond to emails within 48 hours.
- Get the Google Chrome extension “Streak” to see when the people you sent an email to have read it.
- If sending emails to a group, send it to yourself and bcc everyone.
- When sending an email to a stranger, always introduce yourself at the beginning: “My name is Dominie Miyasato, and I am a senior studying biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California.”
- Use “dear ____ and sincerely” for formal emails. Can use “Hi ___ and best” for informal emails.
- It is nice to start with a warm greeting, “I hope this email finds you well.”
- Spell out acronyms unless the recipient already knows what it stands for.
- When the email is urgent, put “Urgent” or “Action Required” in the subject line.
- Don’t forget to attach the document!! I’ve forgotten too many times :(. Also, attach a PDF rather than a Word doc.
- End with a thank you. “Thank you for your time. Thank you for your continued support.”
- Schedule emails to be sent out in the mornings on weekdays to ensure they are read.
- People don’t like reading long emails. If you can, make a bulleted/numbered list to cut verbiage.
- In settings, create a signature that will show up on every email. This is my signature:
University of Southern California
Viterbi School of Engineering
B.S. Biomedical Engineering 2021