Utterly, utterly exhausted from last weekend's college reunion celebrations. Very glad I went and split open my heart to the joys of nostalgia, but lemme tell you: we simply cannot hack it like we could in 2011.
Have been inhaling a strict diet of green smoothies and sleep since landing back in Germany on Tuesday morning and am finally starting to see light at the end of the tunnel as of this evening.
Anyways, I'm crazy backed up on emails due to reunion celebrations and jetlag. Meaning that this is as good a day as any to remind you all about...
The 5 Commandments of Not Being Annoying At Email
Thou shalt never ask for advice.
There is no sentence in this world less helpful than "I'd be grateful for any advice you'd be willing to share."
I probably don't know your situation that well, meaning I can't really just dip into my Advice Bag and say, "Ah yes, dear child. I know what will help you succeed in life. Here's one cliché phrase to take you through the rest of your years..."
Also, level with yourself: you don't really want advice--you want something else. But you haven't told me what it is, meaning we're at a total standstill. Sucks for both of us.
Thou shalt ask a real question.
So, instead of asking for advice: ask me for what you need. Ask me for that introduction. Ask me a real and specific question.
Thou shalt remember what year it is.
And keep your emails short, short, short.
We live in the iPhone era, meaning that any email looks and feels a thousand times longer on a small phone screen than it does when you write it on your laptop.
Go test this theory. Look up the last networking-type email you sent from your phone, and see how long it looks. You'll be surprised.
The mobile view is the number one most important reason to be as succinct as humanly possible.
Thou shalt introduce yo'self.
If you are writing to a stranger, be polite and introduce yourself in the first sentence. Yes, you sign your name again at the bottom, but you need to give context as to who you are immediately.
My old go-to when I was looking for work in San Francisco:
"Hi [First Name],
I'm Alexa: Notre Dame ('11) and a recent transplant to San Francisco."
Thou shalt not be too formal.
People are people are people are people. And people make hiring decisions based on whether or not they want to hang out with you.
Be your charming, entertaining self (without being unprofessional--because there is a big difference between informal and unprofessional).
Right then, time for me to crawl back into my bed.
PS: Thinking about getting your MBA sometime soon? Listen to this week's podcast episode first (aptly titled "Should You Go Get Your MBA?") featuring my main woman, Isabel Chirase. Look for it on iTunes or stream it here on SoundCloud.