Letter to Cousin

Dear Cousin,

Today I helped you revise and edit your cover letter and application for the University you are applying for.  After discussing and arguing the proper placement of commas, caps, and font and size of the text you posed me the question, “Why is this so important?  Is all of this necessary?”  I explained enough to settle our disagreement, but I have been thinking about it all night.  I hope that this letter helps you understand why these nit-picky details are vital to your success as a professional.

We live in a world of casual conversation.  It is completely appropriate (though unintelligent, in my humble-but-correct opinion) to send a text message, e-mail, or post online in incomplete sentences, emoticons, and complete lack of grammatical structure.     While, “TTYL :)” might be an effective way to say goodbye to your potential lover, it is not the way to end an e-mail to a potential business partner.  According to the Handbook for Effective Communication, Communication needs to be both Professional and Effective.  I think that emoticons are a perfect example of this.  Adding a “ 🙂 ” to the end of a text can send various messages, most of which revolve around the fact that you are pleased to be in contact with the person you are talking too.  This is effective at passing that message.  However, it would be viewed negatively in a professional environment; you could be seen as immature or not respecting your coworkers.  Learning to correspond with others in a clear and professional manner will enable you to accomplish your goals and have the support of others.

Your professors will appreciate it too!  You will be writing a lot in college. (Believe me, I know!)  The quality of papers, reports, presentations, and research will be enhanced through appropriate and professional language, sentence structure, and correct grammar and punctuation.  Nothing can distract more from a good idea, than bad grammar or errant punctuation You will find that your papers receive grades equivalent to the language you use.  Your instructors will respect the effort that you put into your projects, and will reward you accordingly.

I hope that this helps you understand the importance of learning to communicate professionally, even in our casual world.  Your future will be built on the connections that you are able to forge with other people, and learning to express your ideas professionally and effectively will allow you to build bridges to an abundant life.  Good luck! Know that I am always cheering you on!