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From the Secret Files: What to Do with VIP Emails
Laura Mixon Camacho - 06/28/12
Read the lightly-edited exchange below. There are 7 tips for dealing with V I P Emails you don't want to botch!!
Hi Dr. Mixon (now Camacho)!
I've been a faithful reader of your Mixonian newsletters since I graduated and especially lately as I have made a big transition and am on the job search. Some days, especially when I'm faced with a rejection email from a job application, your writings give me the strength to get back out there!
However, there's one problem in particular I have. When I write a networking email to a manager of member of a company every few times I realize after I send the email or memo that I've made a spelling or grammar mistake.
For example, I was able to find the information for a manager of a store where I am trying to work as many of their employees end up feeding into the corporate office. I wrote a draft and sent it to an English major friend to read. I read the response and double checked the corrections staring at the darn thing for almost an hour obsessing and scanning for mistakes.
At last, I had the courage and pressed "send." 30 seconds later I realized I spelled her name "Kristina" in the email even though her name is spelled “Kristine” in her address! I sent the same email with the correct spelling within two minutes.
This isn't the first time this has happened. I feel like an idiot! Where do I go from here? This could lead to my dream job and I am so hungry for it. My application, resume and cover letter as well as everything submitted to corporate are flawless. And now I'm sitting here feeling terrible as if I have mucked up the entire thing.
I am curious as a corporate coach and my former editing professor if you have any advice? Am I doomed with this email? How do I proceed?
Thanks so much for your help,
Here's the reply:
Great to hear from you, Former Student!!
Thanks for writing. I love keeping up.
Trust me, your life is not over.
The problem you describe is common. It's even happened to me with my blogs. As you know, catching your own errors is difficult, but it can make a HUGE difference in your job search.
Spell check helps, but sometimes it changes words without your noticing it. I despise it when that happens. And I rarely use the word “despise”!
Very Important Person Email Checklist
1. Write it, save it as a draft and look at it later.
2. Make a checklist on a piece of paper with your key points:
- Is person's name correct?
- Its vs. it's
- Where vs. were
- There vs. were
3. Have another person read it.
4. Print it double-spaced and edit it.
5. Read it from the end to the front.
6. Write a REAL letter on REAL stationery and snail-mail it.
7. Call the person and leave an upbeat message with some value added.
If you still find an embarrassing mistake after you’ve sent it, go on and send a follow-up email with an apology. It’s better to acknowledge mistakes.
With this checklist, you should eliminate 99% of those sniggly typos.
Keep me posted!!!
HEY YOU! Readers! What else can a person do to keep that email clean and neat! I know you HR folks out there have something to say, too!!!!
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