Teach Your Teen to Effectively Communicate
In order to effectively communicate in today's business world, it's important for your teen to be able to draft professional email messages. This article will go over the importance of composing a professional email, and we'll remind you about a few items to avoid using in professional conversations. Lastly, we'll go over a few suggestions of what to teach your teen about composing professional emails.
Why Is Composing a Professional Email an Important Skill?
While it's still important to know how to write a letter by hand, business professionals today won't get anywhere without knowing how to compose a good professional email. Teach teens how to start connecting to potential employers.
This skill is as important as knowing how to write a resume. Even if their resumes are outstanding, teens need to initiate conversations with business connections.
Things to Avoid in a Professional Email
- Don't use abbreviations or loud punctuation:
While abbreviations, emoticons, and loud punctuation marks have a place in text messaging, they will ruin the professional tone that a business email attempts to achieve. It’s appropriate to abbreviate using common acronyms, but the email should remain easy to read. If you feel like a student is using too many of these items, ask them to read their message in front of the class.
- Don't write business emails in lower case:
Teach your teen the importance of writing proper business emails. Using upper and lower case letters at the appropriate time makes our emails look more professional, and it will be easier to draft a thoughtful digital message. Using lower case for the entire email message looks sloppy and lazy.
You should be teaching your teen how to use their words to show off their unique personalities. The words that they choose to include in their messages are tools for expressing their ideas.
- Never send out business emails from your personal email address:
While it may be tempting to use one email address for every email that you compose, your teen needs to understand the importance of compartmentalizing their threads. The main reason why you shouldn't use a personal email for business relations is because personal email addresses tend to look unprofessional.
The Important Parts of a Good Business Email
- Subject Line:
It's amazing how many people overlook the importance of a good subject line in an email. The subject of an email is like the title of an article. It should introduce the reader to what the email is about with a few snappy words. Have your teen engage in email subject line testing in order to give them the skills to speak with other professionals.
As with any good book, an introductory email helps communicate our intentions to the reader. Teens should be taught methods for introducing themselves to potential employers. It's important for teens to practice composing these types of emails in order to gain feedback about what is appropriate in their conversations.
- Resumes and Other Documents:
It's important for teens to be aware of the types of documents that will be expected in professional email exchanges. Potential employers will expect a copy of their most recent resumes, and a cover letter is appropriate when introducing oneself to a new business connection.
Practice Makes Perfect
Have your teen practice these skills on their own. They should compose several thoughtful emails to potential business connections. You should have your teen create emails that could be used to contact potential employers, and they could workshop their letters in groups.
It's important for your teen to hear feedback from you about what works in their professional emails. Many teens have learned habits through writing text messages, so they’ll need to practice the professional way of speaking through digital means.