After this week's lesson, you should understand why your communication needs to be professional from this term on through your studies at Virginia College as well as in your career and personal communication. You are setting an image of yourself to others - whether you've met them yet or not. That's why it's important you understand why we have not allowed text-speak, either in e-mails or on the discussion boards, and why we have continued to tell you using proper grammar and sentence structure is so important.
Having a professional answering message on your phones is important to your image. Something else you can do now to improve the image you portray is to establish a professional e-mail address. If you do not have an e-mail address which looks professional, we encourage you, as part of this week's assignment, to create one. Once you have a professional e-mail address, make sure to update your e-mail address with Virginia College in the Student Portal (Links to an external site.). Finally, review your Social Media channels for content that wouldn't reflect well on your professionalism.
10 Hiring Red Flags to Avoid (Links to an external site.): reinforces these same topics and several more.
Your assignment this week:
- Make sure your outgoing voice mail message (the one that callers hear when you don't answer your phone) is professional on your home and mobile phones.
- Clean-up content on social networking sites that instructors, Career Services, or future employers might visit.
- Create a professional e-mail address. (If you already have a professional e-mail address, you don't need to create a new one.)
- Gmail is one of the most commonly used free e-mail services. If you need to create a professional e-mail address, go to www.Gmail.com (Links to an external site.). Professionals suggest using your name for a professional e-mail address, for example:Jane.Smith@Gmail.com. When you set up your account it will inform you if the name combination you select is available. If your first choice is not available, try different combinations (J.Smith@, JSmith@, Jane.S@, etc.) Begin using your professional e-mail address from now on when communicating with the school, peers, Career Services, and with others professionally.
- Once you have completed steps 1 through 3, write a substantial paragraph or two detailing what action(s) you took for EACH of the three elements above (voicemail, social media, and e-mail address), and explain why you did so. If your social media, e-mail address, and outgoing voicemail messages are already professional, submit a paragraph explaining how you believe EACH is already professional to show that you reviewed and carefully considered the professionalism of each of these channels as part of this assignment.