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Tips For Writing Effective Emails

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Email is the most popular form of written business communication. It is essential that it should be well written with a professional touch.

Writing Formal Mails

1.Begin with a greeting

Always begin your email with a greeting, such as “Dear Henry”. If your relationship with the reader is formal, use their family name (e.g. “Dear Mrs. Wright”). If the relationship is more casual, you can simply say, “Hi Name”. If you are not sure about the recipient’s identity, you can write Dear Sir/ Ma’am.

2.Subject line:

The mail should have a subject line summarizing briefly and evidently the contents of the message. It should state the purpose or objective of writing the mail. Use the subject line to grab reader’s attention.

3.Use simplified language

Do not clutter the email with too many technical terms. The mail should not have long sentences and complex structures. Keep your message short and clear. Try and follow the KISS technique (Keep it Short and Simple)

4.The recipient should be kept in the mind while writing emails

The tone of the email plays an important role. Usually it is observed that upward communication has an element of humility. On the contrary, the downward communication is laced with arrogance. It is recommended to keep the tone neutral while writing the emails.

5.Use Passive Voice

While writing emails, it is recommended to use Passive Voice. Using passive voice makes the language subtle and less direct.

6.Ascertain following the rules of Punctuation, basic grammar and spellings.

In this era of extensive texting, the basic principles of grammar have lost their sheen. People have become oblivious to punctuation and spellings. Since emails are formal communication, we ought to follow the punctuation rules meticulously. Do not type the entire mail in the Upper or lower case.

7.Try to use positive words

The writer should use positive words as it reflects on his / her attitude towards life.

8.Add your closing remarks

Before you end your email, it’s polite to thank your reader and add some polite closing remarks. You might start with “Thank you for your patience and cooperation” or “Thank you for your consideration” and then follow up with, “If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to let me know” and “I look forward to hearing from you”.

9.End with a closing

The last step is to include an appropriate closing with your name. “Best regards”, “Sincerely”, and “Thank you” are all professional. Avoid closings such as “Best wishes” or “Cheers” unless you are good friends with the reader.

10.Proof read the mail

It is recommended to proof read and edit the mail before pressing the send button.

 

Format of a Formal Email

1. Background

The default white background should be used for all emails. Colored backgrounds or scroll designs are deemed unprofessional and distracting.

2. Font

Preferred fonts are Times New Roman or Arial, font size-12.

3. Font Color

Font should be navy blue or black only.

4. Contact Details

Official contact information like name, designation, email id, contact number, company logo, and address of correspondence should be mentioned in the signature area. Personal statements are best avoided.

5. First Name and Surname

They should be mentioned in the same font as used in the body of the email, only two font sizes larger. Cursive fonts are not recommended.

6. Signature

The following information should be supplied in the same font and size as the body of the email.

  • Designation
  • Company Name & Address
  • Contact Number

 

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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Common Mistakes To Avoid In An Interview

Shalini was interviewed for her dream job last Monday, but she showed up late, wore the wrong attire and as a result she couldn’t put together a sentence or two. She fumbled, looked unprepared and guess what? She couldn’t make it. It happens to the best of us, when we go unprepared. It is not just knowledge and experience, we need to understand the importance of so many things, be it our dress sense, confidence, body language, attitude etc. Understand that, keeping a few things in mind will definitely help you do fairly well in your interviews.

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Show them you would be a great hire and avoid making these common mistakes:

Negative body language and inappropriate behaviour

If you never smile, have a limp handshake, and don’t make eye contact with the interviewers, you’ll come across as too shy or too strange or simply not interested. Show your interest in the position you are applying for.

So, smile, say hello, look them in the eye, and shake hands as though you really are happy to meet them.

Restrict yourself from being too entertaining or amusing. Inappropriate behaviour leads to its adverse effects.

Appearing uninterested

If there is one vacancy, then there is no dearth of people applying for the same. That means, the employers have enough choice, therefore, if you don’t show interest in being a part of that company they certainly aren’t interested in hiring you.

Ask intelligent questions that indicate that you have done some research, if you don’t seem prepared and diligent; it shows you’re unprepared and lack of preparation is an opportunity crusher.

Preparation will help you demonstrate your interest in them and the job. You will also perform better in the interview when you are prepared.

Sharing inappropriate information

Sometimes, people have a whole-truth-and-nothing-but-the-truth mind-set in a job interview, so they “spill their guts” in answer to every question. Not smart or useful! It’s not recommended that you tell lies, but avoid boring the interviewer and blowing an opportunity by sharing too much information. If they want more details, they’ll ask.

Unprofessional questions

To an employer, no question means lack of interest. During the first interview, asking questions only about raises, promotions, vacation, and benefits are not usually well-received. Those questions apparently indicate that you are just interested in specific personal benefits rather than the job.

Instead, ask for details about the job like, what an average day is like, if the job is new or being filled because the previous employee was promoted, etc.

Not enough research

Do a thorough research on the profile of the company by visiting their website, Research about their missions and aims, locations, if they are a part of a larger organization, their subsidiaries, and work of the subsidiaries.
Note the names of their products and/or services and get familiar with what each does.
Research about the officers named on the website, their location, any common background with any of them. (Hometown, school, previous organization, etc.)

It’s easy to make these mistakes without even realizing, and many of them are more common than you might think! Take the time to prepare, so you don’t have to stress out about blunders after the interview. Good Luck!

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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Tips To Crack A Job Interview

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Know Yourself- Skills, Accomplishments, Goals

This is the first step you need to take to prepare for an interview. Just as successful salespeople must know everything about the product they sell, you must know your skills and be able to “sell” them to an interviewer. It is what your skills, accomplishments and goals actually are.

Usually, one of the first questions you will encounter in a job interview is, “Tell me something about yourself.” By making a list of your skills and accomplishments that match the employer’s requirements, you can answer this question with ease and start the interview on the right note. The closer your skills and traits are to the job description, the better chance you have of landing the job.

Preparing for an interview  

Self-Assessment

An important part of knowing yourself is having an accurate assessment of your qualities and skills.

Identifying these before your interview is important, you will want to use some of these traits to “sell” yourself in the interview. Using the scale below, rate your perception of your competence in each quality and skill.

      4              3            2            1          0

Excellent  Good  Average  Weak  Poor

Personal Qualities

  • _____ Enthusiastic/Energetic
  • _____ Resourceful
  • _____ Goal Oriented
  • _____ Competitive
  • _____ Responsible/Reliable
  • _____ Effective Team Member
  • _____ Analytical
  • _____ Creative
  • _____ Ability to teach/train
  • _____ Motivating
  • _____ Effective communication.

NOTE: Think of examples for each rating of 3 or 4. You can use these examples during your interview.

Research the Company – Learn as much as you can beforehand

Just as in learning any skill, successful interviewing requires preparation and practice. This is not the best time to try and “wing it.” A successful interview is very much like a sales encounter. You must demonstrate your interest by finding out everything you can about the company and the position before the actual interview. The kinds of things you should know about the company include:

  • How long has the company been in existence?
  • What services does the company provide or what products does it make?
  • Who are their major competitors?
  • Which is the parent company?
  • What are the company’s assets and earnings?
  • Does the company have any international operations?

Prepare Your Questions­­­­­­

Know the purpose of asking questions

  • Questions demonstrate interest, preparedness, critical thinking, and desire to achieve.
  • Good questions reveal your knowledge about the job, show that you pay attention, and establish a personal connection with the interviewer.
  • Allows you to learn more about the position and the organization. Helps you determine if the position and organization are right for you.
  • Gives you the opportunity to further “sell” your qualifications by gathering specific information from the interviewer. By listening to the interviewer’s responses to your well thought-out questions, you may learn more about the organization’s needs and prepare accordingly.

Practice, Practice, Practice

When preparing for an interview, practice in front of the mirror and work on your voice modulation and clarity in speech or you may even record your voice and do the self-evaluation.

During the Interview

Be Prompt and Prepared

On the day of your interview you should plan to arrive 10 – 15 minutes before your scheduled interview time. Be sure to ask for accurate directions and take into consideration the distance you must travel to reach your destination, you might encounter traffic, parking issues, and even time zone changes if it’s a long trip and remember to carry all the important documents and of course, a copy of your resume.

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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Tips To Write An Impressive Resume

Writing a resume is often the most arduous activity of the entire job application process and one which requires painstaking attention to detail. EnglishMate, English speaking institutes from Hindustan Times, lists a few points that one should consider while writing their resume.

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How long should a resume be?

Most recent graduates should confine their resumes to one page. If your resume goes to a second page, make sure your margins are not too wide (no more than 1” left and right and as little as ½” top and bottom). If the headings are on the left, stack the words (e.g. “TEACHING” with “EXPERIENCE” under it, rather than next to it).

What should one include?

  • Name: Start with your NAME (we suggest upper case bold for name only), and complete contact information (address, phone and email address).
  • Certifications: List professional certifications and licenses with dates received. (Chronological Order)
  • Education: Summarize your education in reverse order, starting with your last degree or the one you are working on now. Include school name, city, state, degree, major, date degree was – or will be – conferred and honors.
  • Courses: To tailor your resume to a specific job, you may include a list of “relevant courses.”
  • Honors/Awards/Activities: Use one or more categories as appropriate, highlighting achievements such as scholarships, Dean’s List, leadership roles in clubs, campus/community organizations, sports or other accomplishments.
  • Research: If applicable, you may include special projects or research, highlighting significant relevant classroom learning experiences such as research projects, independent study, special presentations, and major papers.
  • Experience: Your experience, regardless of how you acquired it (full time or part time jobs, internships, and community or college service) is usually of chief interest to the reader. For each position, include: Job Title (followed by dates of employment), Employer, City, and State. Emphasize (put first) either employers or job titles, but be consistent! Describe responsibilities, duties and accomplishments, preferably using list format with bullets.
  • Skills: Of great interest to employers! Indicate computer hardware and software knowledge, fluency in foreign languages, or other technical skills. If you have several of each, use separate categories.
  • Interests: List interests only if you are really knowledgeable about something or very good at it.

How do you make your resume look professional?

  • Include no personal information: age, health, marital status, height, weight, religion.
  • Never use the first person “I.” Do not use full sentences. Eliminate all unnecessary words (a, the).
  • Never lie or exaggerate.
  • Add to the eye appeal of your resume by varying the typeface for emphasis: bold, underline, italic, UPPER CASE, etc. (Use italics for emphasis only – perhaps your job title – never for the entire resume.) Use an attractive legible typeface such as Times or Arial, not an old-fashioned font such as Courier.
  • Use “bullets” (•, ♦, *, −) for listing items under a heading description, such as experience.
  • Proofread carefully. Grammatical, content and typographical errors may eliminate you immediately from consideration for an interview. Ask others to proofread the resume as well.

What is the most important feature of a successful resume?

Here are some pointers:

  • Use action verbs to describe your duties and accomplishments, depicting yourself as someone who gets the job done: one who “created . . . published . . . solved” – not one who merely “participated in” or was “responsible for.” Avoid using “assisted” – say what you did. Vary the vocabulary. For present jobs, use present tense verbs and for past jobs, use past tense.
  • Emphasize skills and experience related to the job you want and to the employer’s needs.
  • When describing your experience, use detailed descriptions that give the reader a picture of you as an individual (“Adapted lesson on dinosaurs to learning styles of autistic children”) rather than vague descriptions that make you sound like everyone else (“Followed the curriculum of cooperating teacher”).
  • Quantify accomplishments by citing numbers, percentages, etc., where appropriate.
  • Put the most related and impressive accomplishment first within each job description.

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Interview

Acing Job Interviews

1. Start with knowing who you are and what you want. The easiest of all job interview questions — “tell me about yourself.” By articulating a concise response to this question, you’ll be — and more importantly appear — more confident.

 

2. Gather work samples. The time and effort of reviewing your work samples and accomplishments lays an excellent foundation for composing responses to typical interview questions.

 

3. Develop stories that demonstrate excellence. No matter the type of interview you might face, with a collection of stories that demonstrate your passion, expertise, and accomplishments, you’ll be ready.

 

4. Ask what to expect when you’re invited for the interview. Information is a key to your success, and knowing the type of interview to expect — and who will be conducting the interview — is crucial to your success.

 

5. Use your network to learn more about employer, open position. See if any of your network contacts — works for your prospective employer.

 

6. Conduct interview prep and practice. Write out responses to typical interview questions, making certain to provide enough detail to properly answer the questions.

 

7. Take your interviewing skills for a tryout. If this interview is your first in a while or just a really big one for you — take your interview prep to the next level by working with a friend or career expert and conducting a mock interview.

 

8. Dress for success. Appearance does matter. Your goal is to look the part of someone who already works at the employer’s workplace.

 

7. Bring extra copies of your resume to the interview. You never know when the hiring manager might misplace your resume. Taking along a few extra copies of your resume is a simple, but smart idea.

 

8. Plan to arrive a bit early to interview. Arriving 10-15 minutes before your interview — avoid being any earlier.

 

9. Greet everyone you meet with respect — and a smile. When you’re interviewing, everyone you speak with matters — from the receptionist to the assistant to the hiring manger… everyone.

 

10. Shine from the very beginning of the interview. Making a great first impression begins with a firm handshake, smile, and eye contact. It’s important to show your enthusiasm and confidence in the interview.

 

11. Excel in the job interview. This is the moment when all your preparation pays off. Using positive non-verbal (good posture, eye contact, smile, strong speaking voice) and solid responses should help propel you through the interview successfully. Remember to stay calm — even if thrown by an unexpected question.

 

12. Close the interview strongly. Always close the interview with a thank-you and a request for information about the next step in the process.

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