First Impressions Matter

Photo: Dennis Wise

Your online presence should match who you are in real life. How you present yourself – and to whom – can make a difference. Email messages to faculty, mentors, and potential employers should be brief and professional.

Here are some tips that will help you make a good impression:

  • Include a useful subject line – A title like “meeting” will not be helpful for people who receive dozens of emails per day.
  • Use a greeting at the beginning – You can’t go wrong with “Hello” or “Dear [their name].” Default to a formal title (e.g. Mr., Mrs., Dr.) unless you are already on a first-name basis.
  • AVOID ALL CAPS! – Unless you really are intending to shout….
  • Double-check attachments – Are they attached? Are they titled appropriately?
  • Develop an email signature – Use something that includes more information about you, such as a link to your online profile or portfolio.

Taking time to present yourself and communicate carefully will help you make good first impressions, both online and in person.

About the Husky Experience Toolkit

The Husky Experience Toolkit is designed to help you make the most of your time at UW, wherever you are in your university career. The articles address four interconnected dimensions of the Husky Experience: Know Yourself, Know the World, Make Your Way, and Weave it Together.